Policy & Government Relations

Jumpstart firmly believes that the most effective way to unlock the potential of every child is to ensure that high-quality early education and care, taught by qualified and effective educators, is available to all.

To achieve this, Jumpstart seeks to transform early care and education (ECE) by advocating for significant, measurable change throughout the field. By mobilizing our alumni base and national network of leaders and champions, we are working to advocate for urgently needed changes in the ECE sector, higher education, and national service. Our network of advocates has the potential to inspire public support and investment in high-quality ECE through their voices, stories, and experiences.  

At Jumpstart, we believe in a full-circle approach to early childhood education that recognizes the role of: 

  • Preschool children, their families, and their communities 
  • Early educators 
  • College students and other aspiring early educators 
  • Volunteers in preschool classrooms 

Click here to partner with us in our policy and advocacy efforts. 

Jumpstart, Kamala Harris, MLK, USC, Vice President Harris, service

Our Legislative Policy Positions and Priorities

Jumpstart believes in and advocates for the following:

  • Accessible, high-quality early education
  • A professional, stable, and well-compensated early education workforce
  • Affordable higher education that incorporates valuable workforce training opportunities
  • A commitment to national service

Learn more about Jumpstart’s Legislative Policy Positions and Priorities.

We know we can’t accomplish these lofty goals on our own. In addition, to support from our alums and network of leaders and champions, we benefit from our partnerships with Voices for National ServiceAmerica ForwardCommon Start CoalitionBlack Californians United for Early Care & Education, California’s Early Care and Education (ECE) CoalitionEmpire State Campaign for Child CareCity’s First Readers Coalition, and more, to advance a public policy agenda that champions innovative and effective solutions to our country’s most pressing social problems.

Become An Advocate

You too can be a champion for early education! Click here for three easy ways to get involved.

Policy News

Jumpstart Advocacy February Newsletter

Do you love advocacy? We know you do because you are a Jumpstart alum, staff member, donor, or partner who has worked alongside us to actualize our mission that all children

Our Policy Accomplishments

FEDERAL

  • Waiver of the AmeriCorps grant match requirement for FY19 & FY20 grantees
  • Lifting of the charitable giving deduction for itemized taxes
  • Partial expansion of the charitable giving deduction for non-itemized taxes
  • Provision of $5.4 billion emergency funding for children & families
  • Inclusion of nonprofits in the Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program
  • Extension to Jumpstart AmeriCorps members’ term of service
  • Safeguarding of Jumpstart AmeriCorps members’ Segal Award eligibility for the 2019-2020 school year
  • Suspension of student loan repayment

CALIFORNIA

  • Participants in the CA ECE Coalition, Black Californians United for ECE, and the Dual Language Learners (DLL) Advocacy Coalition  
  • CA legislative accomplishments in collaboration with coalition partners include:
    • AB22: Expansion of Transitional Kindergarten Statewide (2021)
    • AB2806: Limits suspension/ expulsion at state funded programs (2022)
    • AB321: Childcare services gives enrollment priority to children who come from a family in which the primary home language is other than English (2022)
    • SB1047: Early learning and care extends eligibility for childcare and development programs and the preschool program to families from 12 months to 24 months, for ongoing services after establishing initial eligibility (2022)
    • SB951: Increase Paid Family Leave (2022)
    • SB886: Remove barriers to increase student housing at public colleges and universities (2022)
    • SB107: Protecting transgender youth and made California a refuge for youth seeking gender-affirming care (2022)

MASSACHUSETTS

  • Advocated for the successful passage of a mental health bill that includes exclusionary discipline language 
  • In collaboration with the Common Start Coalition and many partners, advocacy efforts led to the historic investment in early care and education (ECE) in the MA budget  
  • Advocated for and received a historic earmark for Jumpstart for Young Children totaling $350,000 in the FY23 Massachusetts State Budget  
  • Jumpstart FAO Schwarz Fellow, Ryan Telingator, spoke at the Common Start legislative briefing

NEW YORK

  • Supported a budget of $6.5 million for program through the City’s First Readers NY City Council initiative 
  • Joined Empire State Campaign for Child Care coalition
  • In coalition with the Empire State Campaign for Child Care, notable wins for child care in NY 
    • A $500M workforce compensation fund to mitigate the child care workforce shortage with bonuses to increase retention and recruit new workers to the field 
    • The passage of corrected legislation to decouple the hours of care a child can receive from their parents’ working hours 
    • A small pilot program to support the inclusion of children who are currently excluded from child care assistance due to their immigration status 
    • Expanded eligibility to the maximum allowable for federal funds (85% of state median income (SMI)), or $83,370 for a family of three, as of October 1 
    • Promise of the creation of an online application for child care assistance along with other system modernization 

Our Team

Kate Warren Barnes

Vice President of Policy and Government Relations 

Adanech Makey

Director of Civic Engagement & Advocacy

Sabrina Abreu

FAO Schwarz Fellow

Ryan Corrigan

FAO Schwarz Fellow

Contact Us

For more information about Jumpstart’s policy advocacy initiatives and general inquiries, please contact advocacy@jstart.org

Together, we can help all children build the key language and literacy skills they need to take on the world.

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