Babies and Parents Push for Change During Strolling Thunder™
The halls of Congress will be crowded with babies and families as the second annual ZERO TO THREE Strolling Thunder rolls onto Capitol Hill.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Policymakers will feel the thunder tomorrow as a storm of babies, toddlers and families stroll into Washington, D.C. to call on Congress to Think Babies and Act™ for the second annual ZERO TO THREE Strolling Thunder event.
Families from all 50 states and the District of Columbia will gather on Capitol Hill, sharing their stories with their Members of Congress and urging them to take action for stronger families, vibrant communities, and a prosperous country.
Hannah Wingo will represent Missouri during Strolling Thunder. She says that having more support and resources after the birth or adoption of a child will empower parents. “When I was working and felt like I had no other choice it was daunting and depressing. At the same time, I know parents who stay home to raise kids who talk about the sacrifice of giving up a career, but also feel like their hands are tied. Options for spending more time with newborns and better choices for quality, affordable child care are so important in helping families thrive.”
The science is clear – babies’ brains grow faster between the ages of 0 and 3 than at any later point in life. In fact, their brains form more than 1 million new neural connections every second. When babies have nurturing relationships, early learning experiences and good nutrition, those neural connections are stimulated and strengthened, laying a strong foundation for the rest of their lives. The opposite is also true – when babies don’t get what their growing brains need during this crucial time, it can lead to life-long developmental, educational, social, and health challenges.
“When we Think Babies and Act to invest in infants, toddlers and their families, we ensure a strong future for us all,” said ZERO TO THREE Executive Director Matthew Melmed. “We are rallying today to be the voice for babies across America. We’re bringing thunder to Capitol Hill to ensure that Congress knows that healthy early childhood development should always be top of mind when they walk through these halls every day.”
In addition to meeting with policymakers and their staff, families will join ZERO TO THREE, Members of Congress, and organizational partners for a mid-day rally on Capitol Hill. A digital day of action will take place on May 8 as well, engaging partners, advocates, and families across the country in urging Congress to Think Babies and Act via email and social media.
Strolling Thunder families and ZERO TO THREE are calling on Congress to create a national paid family leave program so parents have time to bond with their babies; increase access to quality, affordable child care, and; increase investments in Early Head Start so that more families living in poverty can benefit from the comprehensive services it provides.
The ZERO TO THREE Think Babies™ campaign encourages everyone to become part of the team that is fighting for our future. Sign up at thinkbabies.org today to learn more and take action. Funding partners for Think Babies include the Perigee Fund, a supporter of the public education and advocacy aspects of Think Babies, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which supports the campaign’s public education aspects.
About ZERO TO THREE
ZERO TO THREE works to ensure all babies and toddlers benefit from the family and community connections critical to their well-being and development. Since 1977, the organization has advanced the proven power of nurturing relationships by transforming the science of early childhood into helpful resources, practical tools and responsive policies for millions of parents, professionals and policymakers. For more information, and to learn how to become a ZERO TO THREE member, please visit zerotothree.org, facebook.com/zerotothree or follow @zerotothree on Twitter.
Representative DeLauro was presented with the award at ZERO TO THREE's Strolling Thunder event.
Representative Cole receives the award for making babies and young children a national priority.