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5/19/2020 Rep. Diaz invites public to celebrate ninth annual Child Care Awareness Day online
STATE HOUSE — Rep. Grace Diaz (D-Dist. 11, Providence), chairwoman of the Permanent Legislative Commission on Child Care since 2008, has announced that Child Care Awareness Day will take place online tomorrow due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.

Child Care Awareness Day will take place virtually on Wednesday, May 20 from 11 a.m. to noon. The event will be live-streamed on Facebook Live on the Capitol TV Facebook page (@RICAPITOLTV)

In years past, Child Care Awareness Day has been an opportunity for child care advocates to highlight various organizations in the state that work to improve the lives of children, youth and families. Events would begin with a Strolling Thunder march from the Rhode Island Convention Center to the State House, which mirrored the child advocacy march that took place in Washington, D.C. 

This year, the event organizers will gather in solidarity to push for policies and funding that address the challenges faced by parents of young children during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond, including the need to have an adequate supply of child care that is healthy, safe, and high-quality.

Child Care Awareness Day will bring legislators, early care and education providers, parents, policymakers and members of the public together to discuss challenges and advocate for resources to meet the needs of children and families.  The WebEx videoconference will begin with remarks from Representative Diaz and Sen. Elizabeth A. Crowley (D-Dist. 16, Central Falls, Pawtucket), who will speak on behalf of the commission.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Myra Jones-Taylor of ZERO to THREE, an organization dedicated to ensuring that toddlers have a strong start in life. As the chief policy officer at ZERO to THREE, Dr. Jones-Taylor leads the development and implementation of the organization’s policy agenda, priorities and strategies; oversees the Policy Center, which includes federal and state policy, advocacy and federally-funded technical assistance units; and serves as the principal spokesperson and point of contact for the organization on public policy matters with policymakers, the media, funders, and partner organizations.

Invited to speak are Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, General Treasurer Seth Magaziner, Senate Majority Leader Michael J. McCaffrey (D-Dist. 29, Warwick), House Majority Leader K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick), House Finance Committee Chairman Marvin L. Abney (D-Dist. 73 (Newport, Middletown), House Health, Education and Welfare Committee Chairman Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston), Sen. Sandra Cano (D-Dist. 8, Pawtucket), Rep. Christopher R. Blazejewski (D-Dist. 2, Providence), Rep. Julie Casimiro (D-Dist. 31, North Kingstown, Exeter), Rep. Deborah Ruggiero (D-Dist. 74, Jamestown, Middletown), Rep. Justine A. Caldwell (D-Dist. 30, East Greenwich, West Greenwich) and Department of Human Services Director Courtney Hawkins.

The event will also feature remarks from parents Andrew and Fernanda Poyant; child care providers Alexandra Flores, owner of Happykids Home Child Care, and Mary Varr, executive director of Woonsocket Head Start Child Development Association; along with closing remarks from Marcela Betancur, director of the Latino Policy Institute, on behalf of the RIght from the Start.

For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903