RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) -- The North Carolina Early Education Coalition kicked off the "Think Babies" campaign in Raleigh on Thursday.
The group advocates for three main things: healthy beginnings, supporting parents and quality and affordable childcare.
Mandie Padgett and her 1-year-old baby Millie are all too familiar with the childcare struggle.
"She comes to work with me because I can't afford child care," Padgett, of Winston-Salem said. "I'm a single mother. It's a challenge, I will say."
Moms and babies pushed their strollers around the legislative building in Raleigh to encourage lawmakers to "think babies" and send the message that children and families are worth investing in.
"With the lawmakers in session, to make sure they don't forget as they walk in the halls, preparing legislation, to think about moms and babes and infants and making sure they have the best start," said Tina Sherman, Moms Rising Campaign Director.
The campaign focuses on the critical time when babies are between the newborn age to three years old.
"We want these little guys to be nurtured now because this is when their brain is developing at the highest rate," Padgett said.
Michele Rivest, North Carolina Early Education Coalition Policy Director, expanded on their priorities.
"Healthy beginnings for young children, making sure they get off to a good healthy start with the doctor's visits and connection to primary care," Rivest said. "We're talking about how do we best support families so they can be their child's best teacher and guide through life whether it's home visiting or parenting education and then of course quality early care and education."
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Moms encourage lawmakers in Raleigh to 'Think Babies,' invest in children and families