Babies and toddlers ‘stroll’ to State Capitol on March 11 for Early Childhood Day

Annual advocacy day to feature first-ever Strolling Thunder™ Arizona; encourages policymakers to Think Babies™

The Arizona Early Childhood Alliance (AZECA) will host its Early Childhood Day on Wednesday, March 11, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Arizona State Capitol. The annual day of advocacy brings together families and early childhood champions to raise awareness of the importance of a child’s earliest years.

“This is a vital opportunity to show policymakers how early childhood links to their priorities and the impact early childhood investments have made in communities across our state,” says Rebecca Gau, executive director of Stand for Children Arizona and co-chair of the AZECA leadership team. “The importance of early childhood experiences is gaining recognition, but less than one in four preschoolers is in a quality setting. We need to do better than that.”

Throughout the morning, families and early childhood advocates will attend breakout sessions on a variety of legislative topics and will have the opportunity to meet with their legislators.

The Early Childhood Day will also feature Arizona’s first-ever Strolling Thunder™, a flagship advocacy event of ZERO TO THREE’s national Think Babies™ campaign to bring attention to the many issues that affect what babies and families need to thrive. Key priorities include quality and affordable child care, time for parents to bond with their babies, nurturing healthy emotional development and promoting strong physical health and nutrition.

“With the support of the Arizona Community Foundation and other community partners, Strolling Thunder Arizona is bringing families together from each of our state’s 30 legislative districts to meet with their legislators and share their stories and experiences,” says Ginger Ward, CEO of Southwest Human Development and a member of both the AZECA leadership team and ZERO TO THREE board of directors. “The goal of the event is to emphasize why making young children’s potential a priority benefits Arizona and impacts everything from economic development to long-term health.”

The Arizona State Capitol is located at 1700 W. Washington St., Phoenix, AZ 85007. Advance registration for the AZECA Early Childhood Day is required at azeca.org.

Schedule of Events:

8:00 AM           Check-in and registration, coffee and breakfast served

8:30 AM           Welcome from AZECA Leadership Team

8:50 AM           Group photo at the Liberty Bell

9–10:00 AM     Break-out sessions and activities

9:30 AM           Capitol Museum tour

9:50 AM           Strolling Thunder parade and participant photo

10–11:00 AM   Break-out sessions and activities

11–12:00 PM   Break-out sessions and activities

12:00 PM         Capital Museum tour