Bay Area Early Childhood Funders


Messaging/Policy Project


An ECF Messaging/Policy committee was established in 2010 to explore the development of a messaging campaign to promote the value and importance of early childhood development and to unify early childhood advocates. The committee held a facilitated convening in March 2011 with 12 different ECE advocacy groups and gained their consensus on the value of unified messaging to promote early childhood development among policy makers and the general voting public. In addition, the committee conducted a review of the early childhood literature to identify common themes, and interviewed 23 early childhood leaders representing a variety of points of view and organizations, to get their input on the themes identified. ECF's objective was: to develop a long-term media effort to communicate to voters the importance of, support for and investment in early childhood development and to unify and expand the field of advocates supporting this messaging campaign.

ECF continued to explore the role it can play to increase support for early childhood development considering a number of options. The ECF Messaging Committee hosted two convenings in 2016 and 2017 with communications specialist Anat Shenker Osorio to explore the messages that we use and how this helps or hinders making the case for California's children. Both trainings included ECF members and invited representatives from local and statewide children's advocacy groups. At the trainings we explored the "frames" that we use to promote our vision, how people process information and communicate, and how we can better shape our messages to influence policy makers and the public. A comprehensive Language Analysis Messaging Report and a shorter Messaging Brief are available.

In 2017, ECF also hired FM3 to conduct a Meta-Analysis of the various local and statewide polls that have been conducted on subjects related to support for early childhood programs and funding. The primary focus of the analysis was to identify consistent threads in messaging on early childhood issues. The report, Meta-Analysis of Public Opinion Data on Support for Early Childhood, is available.

In early 2019, the Center for Children's Policy, a project of First 5 Association, developed a statewide messaging campaign called "All Together Now." The aim of the campaign is to highlight the need to prioritize young children in policy and budget decisions. All Together Now will provide advocates, parents, and providers with the language and tools that address the importance of early childhood, coordinating action for maximum effect. This messaging project closely aligned with ECF's goals of unified messaging and ECF decided to support the campaign and disband the Messaging Committee for now.




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