Advocating for Early Childhood Educators (Like You!) in 2021 [Webinar]

In this webinar, we were joined by JaneAnn Benson, advocate and founder of Early Childhood Ally. JaneAnn went through some of her pandemic key takeaways, how you can advocate as an educator, and some of the easy ways you can get started. Big or small, the key is to just get started.!

🎤 Our Special Guest

JaneAnn Benson, Advocate and Founder of Early Childhood Ally

JaneAnn Benson founder of Early Childhood Ally has been in the field for over 35 years as a teacher, coach, mentor and director. 

She spent the past 20 years at Grand Rapids Community College honored to lead and direct the Early Childhood Learning Laboratory, an accredited, star-rated program in the heart of Grand Rapids.  Over the summer she transitioned to semi-retirement and remains as a coach and mentor with the Play and Learn project.  As a long-time advocate of all issues impacting the field of early childhood, she has more time to devote to her passion.  Check out Early Childhood Ally on Instagram, signing up for the monthly newsletter, and visiting her website at where she is eager to hear more about your needs and connecting!

Connect with JaneAnn on Instagram

🧪 Key Learning Outcomes

  • Check out JaneAnn’s Podcast on How To advocate as an individual for the field of Early Childhood Education
  • Early Childhood Education is Essential and during COVID we have some keys peices we can stand on
  • Reflect, Reimagine, Rest, and Rejoice.
  • It’s an important time to reflect right now on what’s working, what isn’t, what we can change, and don’t rush this part.
  • Reimagine – Take time to dream big and don’t overthink it
  • Rest – Ask yourself: How do we reset and how rest at the same time? You want to be able to think about and reflect on what is working and rest it
  • Rejoice – Find a space within the community to rejoice
  • Be a critical thinker during this time to stay innovative and advocate best practices.
  • What we do matters, and we are the experts! WE make a huge impact and that sometimes gets forgotten.
  • The circle of influence is we have a field and families, and we
  • Relationships create influence, decided what you want to advocate for. It can be big or small but start making looking at your connections and who can help be another voice and influencer.
  • Be intentional – Understand who you can connect with and why you are advocating.
  • Have your script! This way you aren’t thinking off the top and hit the key points you are trying to make. You have passion for what you do, so take your speech to the next level. Use an elevator pitch!
  • Rethink your professional development so you are learning.
  • Just start!
  • Have fun with advocacy!


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To learn more about early childhood education and the many influences that make the field what it is today, check out our post on the history of early childhood education.

Ria Reive

Ria Reive in the Community Ambassador at HiMama. Prior to starting at HiMama, Ria was an Early Childhood Educator and worked 6 years in the classroom. She taught all ages but mainly preschoolers. Ria lives in Toronto with her husband. In her spare time, she enjoys time with her niece and nephew and being on the water.

One comment

  • Tamuera Rikare says:

    I really really enjoy your webnar. It has given me the tools to operate my preschool centre more effectively especially helping the children to become successful learners.