First5 Summit Spotlights Equity in Action

By Amie Latterman
Chief Advancement Officer, Children’s Council

Children’s Council CEO Gina M. Fromer with CA Surgeon General Nadine Burke Harris

This week, our CEO Gina M. Fromer and I traveled to Irvine to join hundreds of early care and education leaders from across the state for the First5 California Child Health, Education and Care Summit.

We gathered to learn and talk about some of the exciting changes ahead for early childhood education in California.

Children’s Council was one of many other community-based organizations in attendance. The theme of the conference was “Equity in Action: Elevating Children, Families and California’s Workforce.”

Community-wide alliance-building was a major focus of conversations at the conference, so it was critical that Children’s Council and other deep partners to First5 were there as an on-the-ground voice for children, families and educators.

On Tuesday, keynote speaker Rosemarie Allen (President and CEO of Center for Equity and Excellence) blew our minds with her research around implicit bias and how it affects each and every one of us.

Progressive employers – from Disney to Microsoft – wowed us with their supportive family leave and other supportive employee policies/benefits.

And on Wednesday, California Surgeon General Nadine Burke Harris topped off the learnings with a hopeful call for cross-sector collaboration to mitigate the effects of toxic stress on children’s brains.

Nadine’s exciting keynote address outlined how unmitigated exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) can affect young children’s near-term kindergarten readiness as well as long-term health and well-being. But nurturing care for infants and toddlers can buffer against exposure to ACES and change the physiological structure of children’s brains.

We always knew how important child care providers and early educators are for children… now the science has caught up to prove it!

This conference was truly an inspiring event and we’re so grateful to be a part of the California First5 family.

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