About the Campaign
Steppings Stones is a program designed to bring about a new legislative framework that requires daycare providers to be equipped with the training necessary for proper early identification of children with special needs; provide needed interventions; better prepare children for kindergarten; and prevent the abuse and neglect that children with special needs are particularly susceptible to.
Why You Should Join the Movement
Given the rapid increase in the number of diagnoses of children with autism and other developmental disabilities, it is more critical than ever to have qualified caregivers who are skilled at identifying the early developmental warnings signs and administering basic early interventions.
Studies show that children who receive interventions between the ages of 12 to 36 months are more likely to be integrated into mainstream classrooms and avoid the need for special education and related services.
In the state of California, current requirements for home and center-based childcare facilities in California includes only limited training in the health and safety of early childhood development, which do not require directors or teachers to have any training in early identification or intervention.
As a result, thousands of children with special needs are left vulnerable and denied the benefits of early diagnosis and intervention.
Coalition Building: Identify the key organizations that work on issues related to childcare to build consensus and garner support around the proposed legislation. List of organizations include Crystal Stairs, the Jeffrey Foundation, SEIU-LTCW, St. John’s Well Child and Family Center, California Alliance of Autism Organizations, Fiesta Educative, and more.
Leadership: Enlist graduates from Parent Advocacy Mentoring Program (PAM) to participate in a specialized training program centered on the objectives of the campaign. Upon completion, graduates are divided into teams and tasked to develop a work plan that includes timelines, targets, and benchmarks.
Community Engagement: Teams will then launch a grassroots campaign to rally for support from the communities. Specific activities include town hall meetings, community forums, letter writing campaigns, press conferences, training sessions, and etc.