New Jersey has been selected as one of six states to take part in the Think Babies campaign, supported by national early childhood advocacy group ZERO TO THREE. The five other states selected are Colorado, Georgia, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Washington.
The Think Babies campaign is designed to bring national attention to the many issues affecting what babies and families need to thrive. Key campaign priorities include: quality, affordable child care; time for parents to bond with their babies; healthy emotional development; optimal physical health; and healthy nutrition.
In each of the six participating states, a leading children’s advocacy organization has been chosen to direct the Think Babies campaign at the state and local levels. Advocates for Children of New Jersey (ACNJ) was chosen as New Jersey’s advocacy organization.
During the selection process, ZERO TO THREE looked for states in which multiple funders had already aligned their activities to promote early childhood care and education. In New Jersey, The Nicholson Foundation, the Turrell Fund, the Schumann Fund for New Jersey, the Maher Foundation, the Taub Foundation, and other organizations have been prominent funders of early childhood initiatives, and their collaborations have increased in recent years. In 2017, for example, The Nicholson Foundation and the Turrell Fund launched the “Right From The Start NJ” campaign to inform parents and policymakers about the importance of the birth-to-three year period.
Initial activities in the Think Babies campaign will include New Jersey’s “Strolling Thunder” event on May 21, 2018, which will bring families and early childhood advocates from across the state to Trenton to remind policymakers that success for children begins at birth. This event is modeled after ZERO TO THREE’s national Strolling Thunder, which will be held earlier in May in Washington D.C.