Earlier this month, Early Edge California convened the fourth Community of Practice (CoP) of the California Leading from Home (LFH) Program, which seeks to support Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) care providers in developing their advocacy skills and help them establish grassroots support networks within their communities. These monthly CoP gatherings aim to foster mutual learning and collaboration, empowering these caregivers to elevate their voices and needs within their local communities and across the state. The purpose of LFH is to invest in and empower FFN providers, enabling them to inform policymakers about the importance of FFN child care and the necessary support. The cohort members also receive a monthly stipend for their participation and commitment to the program.
The fourth CoP meeting was held on November 8th and was conducted in English with live Spanish interpretation, and included a special guest speaker. Christopher Sanchez, a policy advocate for the Western Center on Law and Poverty and an experienced grassroots organizer with underrepresented groups, provided a presentation about how FFN leaders can utilize social media as a creative tool for effective advocacy and education. Providers learned about a strategy for developing an effective plan for social media advocacy, along with several examples of how to create engaging and informative content tailored to different audiences on multiple platforms. The discussion also underscored the importance of providers leveraging social media as a way to share knowledge and expertise about their work in Early Learning and Care and increase exposure for their child care services. As an activity, each FFN caregiver within the cohort shared their thoughts on how they would strategize in creating content that would capture a policymaker’s attention and educate them on issues related to FFN care.
The discussion of the fourth CoP revealed the eagerness of FFN caregivers to advance their advocacy goals through creative storytelling shared through various avenues of communication. Early Edge is dedicated to creating a safe and collaborative atmosphere during CoP meetings by implementing feedback on shared group agreements and regularly sharing comprehensive meeting summaries. The fifth CoP meeting is scheduled for December 6th.
Early Edge is enthusiastic about the participation of ten passionate and seasoned FFN providers in their initiative, gaining profound insights into the unique needs and barriers faced by FFN providers to amplify their voices throughout California. For further details about this program, please visit the California Leading From Home webpage on the Early Edge website.