'Think of our babies': Advocates demand lawmakers take action to support early childhood development

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The 'Think Babies Alliance' gathered at Halifax Mall for the Strolling Thunder event to demand policy that supports early childhood development programs and universal childcare.

"We are here to tell everyone that when we support babies and families, we can all soar. It's time for policy makers at all levels to make the potential of every baby their top priority because when we think babies we create stronger families, vibrant and resilient communities, and a prosperous future for North Carolina," Executive Director of NC Early Education Coalition Jenna Nelson said.

Demonstrators strolled with their children around the Legislative building chanting, "Think of our babies!"

"I have a dream for universal pre-k and childcare. When we moved to Raleigh, there are days where I imagine if there had been a childcare option where I could just send my kid, like you do, send a kid, a kindergartner to school, I could've gotten back into the workforce a lot faster. But because there is not an option or funding, we are left on our own to figure these things out." said Katie Cashwell.

Crafts, and kite activities were available to attending parents and children, along with food and beverages while speakers took the podium.

Speakers, though outlining many of the flaws in the NC government's early childhood development policy and programs, still remained hopeful that change is in the near future for North Carolina's children.

"Our kids deserve every opportunity to be the best and strongest versions of themselves," said Vernetta Alston, representative in the North Carolina General Assembly for District 29.
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