Apply to join the Early Childhood Policy and Advocacy Lab


Parents are their children’s first teachers and an essential part of ensuring high-quality, equitable systems of early care and education. Today, parent voice is more important than ever.

Research shows that the first 1,000 days of a child’s life—the period of time from birth to age three—is when 85% of brain development happens. Therefore, we must support families with very young children to advocate for programs and policies that support their young New Yorker’s development. The Early Childhood Policy & Advocacy Lab aims to equip parents and caregivers of color and those from low-income backgrounds to contribute to high-stakes policy decisions.

What is the Early Childhood Policy & Advocacy Lab?

The Education Trust–New York is launching the Early Childhood Policy & Advocacy Lab to expand parent leaders’ knowledge of new funding sources, available programs, and resources, and to support parent advocacy efforts. Parent advocates will help ensure that local policymakers invest funding in ways that meet the needs of all young children — especially those most in need. Throughout the 10-month fellowship, parents will develop skills in policy writing, power mapping, and advocacy strategies to help advance equity.

Working collaboratively with a statewide cohort of leaders, parents will also broaden their understanding of the statewide early childhood landscape and develop ideas for how resources can be used or repurposed to advance early childhood efforts in their respective communities.  Parent advocates will receive a $2,000 stipend for their participation in the Early Childhood Policy & Advocacy Lab.

Who are you?

The Early Childhood Policy & Advocacy Lab aims to support families of children from birth to age five who are: 1) already active community leaders or 2) interested in becoming a community leader. The ideal candidate is passionate about making systemic change in their community through early childhood services and supports. Participants will be chosen from across New York State, with priority given to those in New York City.

Want to participate?

Apply by June 30th to be a part of the Early Childhood Policy & Advocacy Lab by submitting your application here. Please contact Jenn O’Connor at [email protected] or Lara Kyriakou at [email protected] if you have any questions. Thank you!