About the Campaign
Steppings Stones is a program designed to develop and promote a new legislative framework that would require daycare providers to be equipped with the training necessary for proper early identification of children with special needs; provide basic early interventions to prepare children for kindergarten; and prevent the all too frequent abuse and neglect of children with special needs.
Why You Should Join the Movement
Given the exponential 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 potentially avoid the need for intitutionalization and other critical services.
In the state of California, current requirements for home and center-based childcare facilities in California include only limited training regarding health and safety in early childhood development, and do not require directors or teachers to have any training in early identification or intervention strategies.
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 other community partners.
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 which 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, and training sessions.