NAEYC’s goal is to make early childhood education a priority in elections across the nation through local, state, and federal advocacy. They also strive to develop a consistent structure for competencies, qualifications, standards, compensation, and educational pathways for all those who work in the early learning field. They turned to ACS to lead the way in terms of communication planning and strategy and tool development, and in helping to increase staff capacity for its communication work.
In 2017, NAEYC asked ACS to work with five state affiliates to engage providers around the national Power to the Profession (P2P) initiative, a two-year national, collaborative effort among leaders who engage professionals who educate children birth to age 8 across all settings to develop a consistent structure for competencies, qualifications, standards, compensation, and educational pathways for all those who work in the early learning field.
How we did it:
Communication: ACS assisted NAEYC on three levels: 1) providing strategic communication planning for NAEYC national leadership, including proactive and reactive media relations, communication collateral development, major media event strategy development for National Week of the Young Child, and internal communication infrastructure; 2) providing technical assistance to five states – New York, New Mexico, Iowa, Indiana, and Wisconsin – as they work to elevate conversations among stakeholders about the important questions related to the early childhood education profession; and 3) supporting NAEYC to develop its strategy for promoting the profession and developing toolkit resources for state affiliates. ACS also provided training at NAEYC’s annual Public Policy Forum, and helped the entire organization build stronger connections between the national office and state affiliates, ensuring powerful, consistent communication nationwide.
P2P Community Engagement: ACS is working alongside NAEYC on the Power to the Profession initiative (P2P) to provide technical assistance to five states – New York, New Mexico, Iowa, Indiana, and Wisconsin. These states are working to elevate conversations about the early childhood education profession and related policy changes among diverse stakeholders, particularly targeting outreach to underrepresented individuals.
Outcomes to date:
Communication: NAEYC’s national office and affiliates have the tools they need to communicate, advocate, and build relationships with stakeholders at the local, state, and federal levels on behalf of early childhood. NAEYC state affiliates also have guidance to lead conversations around professionalizing the early childhood workforce.
P2P Community Engagement:
• ACS supported the development of resources such as a one-pager and facilitation guide to help NAEYC membership engage in P2P and gather feedback from stakeholders.
• ACS facilitated two sessions at NAEYC’s 2017 Public Policy Forum, including a communication and message development to personalize messages for priority audiences and a network mapping session where participants learned how to prepare for future policy and legislative activity by identifying, leveraging, and engaging their networks around the P2P.
• ACS provided one-on-one technical assistance to five NAEYC state affiliates to support their engagement in the P2P initiative.
• ACS supported reporting out of engagement activities, organizing and synthesizing feedback from five states, and documenting each state’s outreach approach.
• ACS developed a roadmap to help other states initiate outreach to diverse stakeholders based on lessons learned by the five affiliate states.