Senator visits CA KinderCare, sees impact of ECE firsthand

Lauren brought her crayons to Senator Morrell and he joined her in using stencils to draw animals.

Lauren brought her crayons to Senator Morrell and he joined her in using stencils to draw animals.

Earlier this month, Center Director Tracy Bierman and her staff at the Yucaipa KinderCare in southern California hosted California State Senator Mike Morrell for a morning of story time and art activities. Senator Morrell serves on the Senate Budget Subcommittee on Education, a group that impacts state funding for early childhood education. This visit – which came about after the Knowledge Universe Government Relations team met with the Senator’s office – was a first for the Yucaipa center, which hadn’t hosted a VIP before.

“The Yucaipa center is a high-quality, accredited center that also happens to serve a large number of children who receive tuition assistance through the state child care assistance program,” said Kristine Evertz, Government Relations representative for the western states. “This [visit] was a good opportunity for the Senator to see what a great program Yucaipa KinderCare offers for all children.”

Senator Morrell’s visit was the first VIP visit the Yucaipa center hosted, and everyone from the teachers to the students, were honored and thrilled to show their center to their guest.

“This was a big opportunity for the center to show how important education is at the preschool level,” said Center Director Tracy Bierman.

Senator Morrell joined the morning story time - with a brief literacy lesson.

Senator Morrell joined the morning story time – with a brief literacy lesson.

During his visit Senator Morrell read Go Dog Go to three classrooms – enjoying a laugh in the toddler room when the children became very animated during the reading – and participated in an impromptu art project when one student invited him to join her in drawing animals. Tracy also gave the Senator a tour of the center and explained various aspects of the KinderCare curriculum.

Building relationships with local, state, and national leaders benefits not only Knowledge Universe centers, but most importantly, those relationships benefit children. When leaders have the chance to see high-quality early childhood education programs in action, they gain a better understanding of the impact of policy changes on their youngest constituents, Kristine said.

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