What We Work For
We believe that parents are the best experts on what their children need to thrive.
The EC-LINC Parent Leader Network (PLN) provides a space for parents in EC-LINC communities to collaborate with and support each other, represent the parent perspective, and advocate for parent voice and leadership in early childhood systems. Harnessing the power of parents and giving them the space and support to share their expertise, wisdom, and knowledge ensures that we keep children, youth, and families at the center of our work.
How We Do It
Parents want to improve outcomes for their kids, but face barriers when it comes to working with early childhood systems of care.
Structural racism and bias prevent many parents of color from being true partners and leaders in their child’s healthy development and early learning. The Parent Leader Network works to address that, by bringing together parents from across the country to collaborate, build leadership skills, advance racial equity, and advocate for change in early childhood systems.
The Parent Leader Network seeks to strengthen parents’ leadership and expertise in priority action areas such as equity, early childhood systems, and parent engagement. It increases parents’ access to peer-to-peer education, support, and paid leadership opportunities.
In addition, a group of parents and agency staff worked in collaboration to develop the Manifesto for Race Equity & Parent Leadership in Early Childhood Systems, a guiding document for early childhood agencies. Members of the Parent Leader Network are tasked with using the Manifesto to build a movement centered on racial equity wherein:
- System leaders acknowledge the ways that agency policies, procedures, staffing, and culture create barriers to equity and parent engagement and respond by making changes and improving collaboration;
- Early childhood agency staff reflect the diversity of the community;
- Systems work to improve families’ access, experiences, and outcomes.