Skip to main content

Project Highlights

Inclusive and accessible engagement.

By designing for inclusion, Parent Voices and SPR succeeded in engaging parents who typically face many obstacles participating in similar events.

Parents offered both insight

and aspiration. Parents identified clear goals for improving California’s childcare and for making the care sector more accessible and easier to navigate for everyone.

Short-term action coupled

with systems-level reforms was the path parents from across the state said was needed. They generated dozens of practical recommendations for improvements at both levels.

[P]arents believe that childcare is an investment, and having safe and enriching environments for children to grow and learn is important for society."
Waiting to Be Seen, Demanding to Be Heard Report

The California Blue Ribbon Commission on Early Childhood Education (BRC), charged with improving California’s childcare system needed parent input to inform positive change. Parent Voices and SPR collaborated to provide it.

Our team designed and supported four inclusive parent focus groups in different parts of the state. We prioritized accessibility and conducted these activities on weekends and evenings so that more parents were able to attend. We provided childcare, translation services, food, and stipends for parents so that low-income mothers and fathers of all backgrounds could participate. Parents’ experiences represented the full range of childcare settings, including center-based care, family childcare homes, state preschool, Head Start, and family friend and neighbor care.

Participating parents advocated for a vision of care deeply connected to family needs and related supports—such as healthcare and education—attentive to children’s well-being, respectful of parent insight, and open to all. They also described the current reality, which is often at odds with this vision. Our final report, “Waiting to be seen. Demanding to be heard,” includes specific and achievable recommendations from parents that BRC can use toward its goal of improving the lives of California children and families.