Tag Archives: debates

What’s economics got to do with it?

By Sue Stepleton

Wow; what a week on the financial front! Never did I think I’d be watching the stock market every hour on the hour, but I certainly have. Clearly, implications are both personal and professional.

The challenge for early childhood folks, though, is not to lose focus. Seems to me that it’s more important than ever to understand and use the very strong “return on investment” arguments that are plentiful and valid when we talk about early childhood care and education. Whatever direction our country (and the world) is moving economically, the need to make the pay-now-or-pay later case has never been more relevant.

How do we assure that we’re included in the conversation?

  • Register to vote; encourage parents we work with to do the same.
  • Send questions to moderators of the upcoming debates.
  • Get involved in local races.
  • Run for office ourselves.

How are you making your voice heard?


Why is ‘politics’ a dirty word?

I belong to an online chat forum. There are a couple hundred members, but only a handful of active voices. Still, new ones pop up from time to time depending on the discussion thread. We all go back a long way (same high school graduating class) so we have lots in common, and after a recent reunion, a lot of catching up to do!

Recently the discussion turned to politics. Not nasty in-your-face diatribes, mind you, but some well developed satire as well as some thoughtful analysis (I graduated with a bunch of brainiacs!). But something happened.

“I was wondering if I was the only one bothered by the recent trend to politics. For some reason, politics have always ‘bored me terifically’ to borrow a line from It Happened One Night,”  wrote one poster.

“It is my opinion the political discussions is not drawing in people but chasing them off,” said another.

“Agree. I brought this up when the first political post appeared,” was one response.

On the contrary, I was enjoying the political banter and found it sad that we felt we had to refrain from expressing views on something as important as these elections. Shouldn’t we be seeking out information and alternative opinions in order to more fully shape our own? Why does politics have to be off-limits in polite conversation?

Parents as Teachers National Center is a Voter Education Partner of the Commission on Presidential Debates. The VP debates, as you may know, will be held at Washington University in St. Louis on October 2. Whether or not you voice your opinions publicly, we certainly hope you plan to voice them at the polls in November…and that you keep early childhood issues top of mind!

Up for debate

By Jane Callahan

While I’m not a single issue voter, I do listen to see if candidates mention early childhood education and family support issues. As a nation we face many difficult and complex issues, but I care about what the candidates are proposing to help children and families. If you’re really motivated or just want to learn more about the specifics of the candidates’ proposals, I urge you to visit their campaign web sites for more detailed information their positions on the issues: www.johnmccain.com and www.barackobama.com. If you don’t agree with their positions, let them know through the web-based “contact-us” icon on each of their web sites.

We are especially excited here in St. Louis because Washington University is hosting the vice presidential debate on October 2nd. With the recent announcement of Sarah Palin as John McCain’s running mate, this is shaping up to be a very big event! From the viewpoint of Parents as Teachers National Center, we are excited that both Delaware, the home state of Democratice vice presidential candiate Joe Biden, and Alaska, the home state of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, both have strong Parents as Teachers programs serving families. 

Wouldn’t it be great if early childhood education would be an issue for discussion at the Wash U debate?