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Equity Starts Early

Episode 4

Join us as Dr. Ashley Williams helps us unpack and discuss the disparities within early childhood education and the need for policy reform for a truly just and equitable ECE system.

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[Intro music]

Noelle: Whaaaaat up?!

Miranda: Welcome to The Unpacked Project

Noelle: We’re your hosts-I’m Noelle

Miranda: And I'm Miranda.

Noelle: We're here to explore all things social justice. It's through casual conversations, interviews, and story telling that we hope to inspire others to take action towards a more compassionate and equitable world.

Miranda: 'Cause honestly it kinda sucks here sometimes.

Noelle: For real, we can do better people.

Miranda: Alright, let's start unpacking.

[Music plays]

Miranda: Welcome to today's show everyone! We have our first guest and dear friend of mine, Dr. Ashley Williams, who's a Senior Policy Analyst at the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at UC Berkeley. In her role she tracks, analyzes, and translates state and national ECE or early childhood education policy development with a particular focus on issues related to the early education workforce, which is the lens we’ll be focusing on today. An important one that sets the stage for the foundational systems in place that contribute to the barriers and inequities within education in general. She’s previously served as the Associate Director of EDvance, an ECE teacher preparation program at San Francisco State University. And over the past 16 years has worked in several roles in ECE, including serving as a Jumpstart Core Member where she started her ECE journey, a preschool teacher, Head Start Center Director, and an early childhood teacher educator at the Undergraduate and Master’s level at SF State, so clearly a vast array of experience. And her professional work also extends internationally as she's co-led a study abroad service learning program in ECE settings in South Africa and New Zealand as well. Overall Dr. Williams’ daily work and research is rooted in contributing to ECE systems in ways that dissolve and resolve inequities in ECE that negatively impact children, families and educators-work that we're all so grateful for. So that was a lot to write as an introduction, but I definitely think you can share with our listeners a little bit more in depth about what it is that you do.


Ashley: Yoo, so first as you were reading that I was just like I'm ready to retire.

Miranda: Right?! You just got your Doctorate, like already?

Noelle: Aaaannnd, I’m done.

Ashley: So thank you, thank you for having me. It's such a pleasure and an honor to be here with The Unpacked Project. Excited about this mission and vision of this work, and excited to be amongst company of friends as well. So currently what I do, I am the Senior Policy Analyst at the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at UC Berkeley and our work is really centered around the ECE workforce. So the center actually has a long history, it has been doing this work for over 20 years under the leadership and vision of Dr. Marcy Whitebook who conducted, literally, the nation's first early childhood workforce study to really bring these issues to the surface as she started as an educator herself and was just like- ok, something’s going on here, something’s going on with our wages. And over the past 10 years, Dr. Lea Austin joined the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, and I am just so enamored and love working under her leadership. She is now the director of the Center-and I'll just say the Center because CSCCE, it's just long, so I just say the Center at this point. But you know, their work for the past 20 years has really been focused on conducting research. So we do workforce inventories, looking across the 50 states-we’re actually going to be launching one in December-looking at how policies are either stalled moving forward as far as workforce support, compensation, education, and things like that. We have a higher education inventory, so some really robust research studies on the workforce that our Center does, as well as proposing policy solutions and policy analysis that is centered on the workforce. And that piece is why I was brought on, so my role is new at the Center. I started in February, saw these folks 6 times and then we had a pandemic sooo-

Miranda: Surprise!

Ashley: Right? But I think my value add to the team is in my lived experience as an early educator myself. In policy there is not a career lattice that's like, you want to go from the preschool classroom to leadership in ECE? That's not there, so I will say in full transparency, I'm working hard everyday to make sense of this shit because it's just like wooow, so much is lost. But I think what’s central and what I bring in, what the Center values, is centering the workforce. I mean, we have all the data that we want but if policy makers, parents, other educators, educational systems don't understand the value of the workforce then our work is not done. So that keeps me busy every single day and it's such an honor to be a student of this work and to be engaging in this work, and also being able to talk with early educators as a core piece of my work as well. So that's what I'd be doing. I love it. I would say right now I'm in a moment where I'm in my dream job so it's like-I want to retire because I'm tired, but I'm also doing this work that excites me every single morning.

Noelle: So when we first think of early childhood education-and it's really deemed to be birth to five-I really think there are two aspects that are commonly overlooked that we're hoping you can kind of help us shed some light on. So one being the fact that it is a vital part of a child's education. I think people a lot of times just think kindergarten and up is what our child's education is-when you know, education starts-but really ECE is a vital aspect to that, that birth to five range. And then also, that it's essential for the US labor force. So can you speak to the importance of this work in regards to child development and then also the impacts on society just from a labor lens.

Ashley: Yes, yes. You know, I would say like the research is out there. So there have been countless empirical studies, longitudinal studies on ECE to really just establish the importance of it on social, emotional, physical, cognitive, development and how this actually really supports children in the long term, well into adulthood. There are some adults that I’m like- oh, you didn't go to preschool, did you? There's studies like the Highscope Perry Preschool Project, and there's so many studies that have made this case. I would say more recently there has been more of this scientific lens that really has deemed, as you're saying Noelle, birth to five is the most critical moment of brain development. So this is a critical period where we have our tiny humans that we are really shaping what they come to be as an adult, and so what's important about this is that in my lens in the workforce-’cause the workforce is my jam and I'm always going to kind of lead with that-this work, to do this is brain architecture. So it's really important to understand that the work that early educators do is brain architecture and it takes skill, right? And what they're doing to build enriching experiences that not only impact learning but their actual development, and it needs to be recognized and respected as such. Period. Ok?

Noelle: Boom, hear that people?

Ashley: But then when we think about the impacts of the labor force, it's not just the crux of human development but it's the underpinning of really supporting people to be able to go to work, go to school each day. And ECE kind of really started because there's a historical context that was like, ok, we need somewhere safe for these kids to be while people go to work. It's not that simple. So it was like, we just need somewhere for it to be safe and for a long time attached to ECE was this narrative that-oh they’re just babysitters, they're just watching the children. Which is why early care and education has to be emphasized together, because it's both care and education. And schools do this as well, K through 12 does this as well as much as we want to say they don't, they also are providing care, somewhere safe for these kids to be while parents are at work. And I emphasize that while we're in the midst of a pandemic and people are in denial about that. But it's really important that we move beyond understanding ECE as just babysitters even though it seems like right now in this current moment-2020...what month are we in?!

Miranda: Right?!

Ashley: Right, right. So now people are kind of like-oh babysitter. That’s important to know, but what else is important is that it's critical for people to be able to go to work, especially now, and also return to work. And the impacts on the labor force specifically is on women, and that has kind of been historically so for lots of reasons. Women are doing most of the child rearing and now that they are in the labor force, if they're not able to have somewhere for their children to be then they must assume that care responsibility. I just read an article this morning that said that as of last month, September, which is like 2 days ago-which I still am like, how are we in 2020-but they said that women are dropping out of the workforce four times more than men right now. So when we think about the issue of child care and access, or schools and access,-'cause schools are also providing childcare-it's really disproportionately impacting women. So it's an issue of women's right to work, and that has a long history in the United States. We also have to understand that as folks are making the case for the labor force, for having ECE to support people to be able to go back to work, we're missing the point that the ECE workforce is also largely women. It's 97% of women. So I've seen a lot of political platforms just like-yes, support women to work and, yes-we're gonna do childcare and all of that-but still somehow they’re ignoring the fact that there are women who are actually doing the child care work. So there's a workforce that supports this workforce to be able to work that largely has been ignored, and I'll talk a little bit more deeply about that. But our workforce, our childcare workforce, is earning poverty level wages nationally, across the states. To what extent it depends. So I think the frame of sending mothers to work, it can't be absent of the discussion of the ECE workforce because their working conditions are poor. And so if their working conditions are poor, if they are not stable, that's causing mothers to be like, ok, I have a stable teacher in the classroom- that’s retention-I can rely on these folks to be able to show up everyday, especially in a pandemic, they're not shutting down every other week because there's cases of covid popping up in child care-if they can't rely on that they can't securely return to the workforce. And so I think that yes, when we talk about the general workforce, we also have to be talking about the ECE workforce.

Miranda: Definitely, definitely. So you just brought up the stat about 97% of the workforce is women, right? So with 65% of parents in the labor force in the United States, a majority of our country relies on early childhood educators to teach and care for these kids daily, but there’s still inadequate wages and meager benefits-they’re commonplace in this field. So when we look at K to 12, while in many regards still underpaid, the benefits of ECE pale in comparison, so can you tell us a little bit about why this continues to be an issue?

Ashley: Yes, why it continues to be an issue-it just gets on my nerves.

Miranda: Right? Just get it right people!

Ashley: But to say it simply to say most simply, K through 12 is considered a public good. And by public good, that means that the government is providing some type of financial support because there is an awareness that this service is good for the public to have, good for the public to have access to. For example, like clean air and water.

Noelle: Imagine that.

Miranda: Well, I mean, you know there's still issues around that as well. You know that we’ll cover that in another episode.

Noelle: Season two folks.

Ashley: All you have to do is say Flint, Michigan. So in theory that's how a public good works, right? And so K through 12 is considered a public good. Now when we talk about quality that varies, but baseline-it's a public good. And while ECE has increasingly been seen as important-you know, we have all of this empirical research, we have all this brain development, people are adding it to their policy platforms-it's still not seen as a public good. So that bottom line is one reason why it continues to be an issue. So that's kind of my policy lens on it. My reality lens- racism.

Miranda: Yes, thank you for saying that.

Ashley: So it's an issue because first, the K through 12 workforce is whiter than the ECE workforce, so we have more of a diversity of women of color in the ECE workforce, right? And so that's important to call out and I think one of the clearest examples we can see of this, is this divide-and while people might say, oh it's different or people think differently about K through 12 or ECE, it is an issue of race. Again, like I said, because of the racial makeup of the workforce, especially in California which is my home state and  Miranda-your home state, remember? Come visit us. But the clearest example of this devaluation of the ECE workforce versus K through 12 is how it's being treated in this pandemic in this very moment. We see that K through 12 schools are closed, closed immediately, while childcare has remained open, some never closed. And we’re also finding in our studies, particularly in the state of California where programs are still trying to access personal protective equipment, they’re still trying to access cleaning supplies to do this work safely while K through 12 has remained closed. So that is one example of why is it that K through 12 can be closed down and childcare can be open? I think another aspect of that is how dollars are distributed. So there's not a lot of public investment in ECE whereas, K-12 again, is that public good. This is nothing new, but I think it really ties-when I put on that reality lens and that racism lens-we have a deep rooted history of undervaluing labor that's performed by women and people of color. And the prime example of this is-we can look at slavery. The experiences of enslaved Black women expected to care for White children with priority over their own, their own flesh and blood, and the most like deplorable conditions and dehumanizing conditions. And this is the foundation of the creation of child care, so this is how child care was created and we continue to see that in childcare. Childcare is one of the most underpaid professions in this country. So nationally, early educators are in a median wage of $12.12. I'm just gonna put this out there-there's a real thing called #fightfor15, so when I say that the median wage is $12.12 across the nation, we're not even at minimum wage, so they're earning poverty levels and this is true in each state. So, I think in comparison to their K-12 counterparts, early educators are experiencing these poverty rates at 4 to 14 times higher than K through 12 educators. And the wages in K through 12 are also problematic. I'm not saying not to say...both are terrible.

Miranda: But in comparison

Ashley: Right

Noelle: If that's bad then this system is really bad.

Ashley: Right-and it could be, again, due to the fact of the reality of racism and systemic oppression that's really present in ECE. And again, that there's 40% of People of Color that are doing this work in contrast to more than 80% of the K through 12 workforce which is White. So I would just say I think that honestly is the deepest reality that needs to be interrogated the most right now as to why this is continuing to be a problem.

Noelle: So you know, you bring up a lot of disparities within the wages and racial disparities that we see within the system, and we can see this across the board in ECE and it can vary from program to program, but most notably, when I think about federally funded programs like Head Start versus more tuition or fee based preschools, Head Start is meant to provide support to low income communities, but we see when we look at the data on that, Head Start is serving less than 40% of 3 and 4 year olds living in poverty and less than 5% of children under 3 living in poverty. So we're just trying to understand it. Why is this and what can be done to move towards a more streamlined approach in ECE?

Ashley: I think one of the things-ECE is very complex, right? We have a mixed delivery system, yet that mixed delivery system is deeply fragmented. So as you said, like you could have Head Start educators earning one wage versus fee based programs earning another, the requirements for what those teachers are supposed to do in Head Start are also somewhat different or vary from what's required in private. So it’s just deeply fragmented. Someone said once it's like-oh, it's like a bifurcated system between public and private pre-K and I'm like-oh it's like trifurcated or I don't know, how many cateds-it's a bunch of cateds right?! So these disparities, it really varies from access for families, it varies in access to early learning for infants and toddlers, and wages for educators. So there's lots of disparities because of how the system is set up. For example, in preschool centers teachers that work with infants and toddlers actually make about $8,000 less than teachers that work with four and five year olds. And so this is a particular harm-I note this because Black early educators are the ones who are most likely to be working with infants and toddlers-and this harm extends to Latinx and immigrant educators as well as Black educators also in family child care homes. And so as you shared, Head Start only serves a portion of these families so a more streamlined approach is universal childcare. And what we hear people talking about most is universal preschool and it has varying levels, states do this differently, but when I kind of zoom out so I don't get too much in the weeds, these varying levels of universal preschool usually focus specifically on income eligible families or families who are receiving subsidy. So again, that creates that bifurcation of the private and the public preschool system. And so while universal Pre K is-and it's an important step-it's not going to get us the change that we need to if it's not across all preschools. If it's only for one aspect and again, it's a step, like it could be a short term solution, but in the long term it's not. It's not going to get us the change that we need to see. When I think about the impact on families, like you said, there's families who are accessing the subsidy or the subsidized child care, and those who are not are paying upwards about $10,000 a year for childcare. Now that's probably more than a mortgage, that was more than my tuition-well, per year I mean- well, it depends on what time I was in school  'cause I was in school a lot of time, but you know, far more than my undergrad college tuition. And so parents are shelling up this money for childcare and I think what we fail to really recognize is that parents can't pay anymore and teachers can’t earn any less, and so in there there's a third payer, right? So there needs to be a third payer. And so, I think that when we think about universal childcare, this means that there is universal access across the public and private sector for children birth through five years old because there's also that disparity again, for infants and toddlers and families accessing infant and toddler care, which is very very pricey. And so it's this number, so this idea of universal child care-actually the Center where I work at produced a values based budget for the state of California to really demonstrate what the cost of quality is, and that cost of quality is going to be critical because-sure, you can give all these families access, but if you continue to underfund the system it's going to be subsidized by the wages of early educators, right? And that has been what's been happening. So people are like, yeah we got more families in, yeah! But still, educators are making poverty level wages. So as even as we're drawing down more dollars for access for families, educators aren't seeing that in their compensation and so we've been in our values based budget-they estimated it would cost about $30,000 to $37,000 annually per child in California. And Needless to say, it was a sticker shock like-Oh my God!

Miranda: We all just made wide eyes! For listeners, we’re like-what!?

Ashley: But the question I raise here is, are we actively going to continue forcing the women that perform this work into poverty while still failing to meet the needs of children and families? We've yet to serve children, families and educators well. So we have to recognize ECE as a public good and also pay the cost of quality early education and that includes compensation for the educators doing this work, because, as we've seen time and time over again, the cost of not investing in ECE is much greater.

Miranda: And I'm so glad that previously you touched on how ECE is really just-how systemic oppression and racism is embedded in ECE.

Ashley: It’s here y'all, it’s here. It’s all up in this.

Miranda: And you know, we talked about that in our last episode but there's so many ways to relate it to that, right? So we're talking about how we keep oppressing the Black community really, which is the labor force in ECE, but then we talk about what some may know as the “school to prison pipeline”, which is in fact the “cradle to prison pipeline”. And so the data that you mentioned earlier-how is the ECE system supporting that pipeline as well? Because we talk about the labor force, but then what about the children?

Ashley: I think it's reinforced in so many ways. When I trace back how that's reinforced, I think about the first level of reinforcement is at the teacher level. And this is not to limit or discount my argument that educators need to be paid for the work that they are doing, right? But teacher bias is a real thing, and it's also real in early childhood, and it's also real across any institution including higher education. I myself have had professors that I'm just like-so yoouuuuu are clearly engaging with me in some very oppressive and racist ass ways, but this is not going to take any money out of your pocket, you're still going to get paid. They still get paid right!? So this is not to discount what I'm saying about compensation, but teacher bias is real. We've seen studies out of Yale on teacher bias in early education, implicit and explicit bias, and then when I think about-it's also just not the teachers and how they’re enacting their work with children, right? It's not just that level. I take it a step back and I say-well, who taught you to teach that way? Who taught you to teach like that? And so, when I think about how it's being reinforced, just in my experience as being an early educator and thinking about-well how did I learn? It was higher ed! It was higher ed and the role of higher education. And higher education really shapes the epistemologies that determine how teachers teach our babies. We also have to recognize itself that higher education is an institution of systemic racism itself. As is ECE, as is K through 12, as is Community College. So these are still institutions that perpetuate and just are entrenched in hegemonic perspectives, White supremacist perspectives that harm students of Color, children of Color, families of Color, communities of Color, right? And so there's a role of higher education and I think that we have to interrogate that. And I'm sure you're probably going to episode on that, so I won't comment, but I think about-we really have to interrogate who are the faculty that we're putting in front of prospective teachers? Right? By and large, in higher ed faculty are more likely to be White than students, right? So that's a thing. So when you think about who's shaping the teaching of the teachers, that's an aspect of it. Then we also have to think about what actual content are we putting in front of prospective teachers and teacher candidates, right? How, you know,  a lot of theory and ideas that shape child development, human development, I'd say in 2020 would not make it quite well through the anti racist filter if you know what I mean. So you know, how often are we bringing in ideas that actually understand this in our modern time? I can think of folks such as Zaretta Hammond who writes about Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain. She's incorporating science and also respecting and understanding the capital of culture that children and families have that cannot continue to be undermined. Which, we're kind of taught through a hegemonic, a White is normal, White typically developing-

Noelle: all Whiteness

Ashley: economically stable, child development lens that other children who are dual language learners, who are economically vulnerable, who are Black, who have special needs-these children are othered, right? So we talk about them “in case” you encounter them. But it makes me think about how we do not center, how we don't design at the margins. So if we were to look at the margins in higher Ed or how we're preparing teachers to teach, or their competences and their skills-if we looked at the margins and actually centered them as a point of inclusion-so if you if you talked about inclusion and anti racist practices as the core of human development, if you coupled that way it wouldn't other these other children. And so, we focus in a lot on skills and competences but we also have to interrogate and help prepare them to mitigate those beliefs and dispositions 'cause we all have bias, right? But in higher ed, if prospective teachers are ready to go, you know-you have your credentials, you have the credit, you have the degree, you're ready to go out and work in a community, and not have that anti racist lens that respects and honors the cultural abundance of capital that communities of color have-we’re not making any change. We're not making any change. And to me, I’m very, very concerned about this, because in ECE we already see that our babies are beginning to be criminalized. Black preschoolers are found to be 3 times more likely to be expelled than their White classmates, right? And we don't like to talk about-oh no, in ECE we don't do that we don't. Yes you do. YES YOU DO!

Noelle: Yes. it’s happening.

Ashley: You might not call it that but if baby Ashley is feeling active and bubbly and bumpy during circle time, you're going to keep calling my momma until she has to take off work to come pick me up because that is a form of expelling/suspending that we don't talk about. That we actively do. And if you hear me, ya know you do it and you need to stop!

Miranda: Check yourself.

Ashley: But I say that because it really concerns me, there's little space for humanity for Black bodies in this country and we've seen that bright, clear as day right now in the state sanctioned murders of Brianna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, so on. And this is just 2020. We're just hitting-I don't even know what month we're in again, you just told me and I forgot but-

Noelle: It's October, we still have a ways left unfortunately. 

Ashley: Yeah, right. And so I think it's really critical that we understand these issues in our role as ECE in the cradle to prison pipeline and how we're dismantling practices via competences via how we teach teachers to teach babies. All of that has to be under interrogation and needs to stop because honestly, we're facing a cradle to coffin pipeline if we don't deal with the moral compass of this country that has been guided by White supremacy. And we have to break that path and find another way.

Noelle: So it's just all so much to take in. I know you've shared some really great things with us today and our last episode we were talking about systemic racism and how our institutions and how these systems within our country are perpetuating all this. One of the things that it came down to was-are we ok with these things? You know, as a society what are we valuing? And when I hear things of-which I didn't even realize until we talked today- what a high percentage of Black women are teaching, especially with infants and toddlers. And then we look at how much more, disproportionately, how many more White females are in K-12 education and these poverty wages vs. higher salaries, and race being a very big defining factor there, it's just again, confronting and realizing that these systems are continuing to perpetuate this. So when we think of our ECE system, how would you re imagine it to be a more just and equitable system for all of our babies? And our workers right? 'Cause we talked about the labor force, like this intersection of the children and the workers.

Ashley: I think that's such an important question that I'm really struggling with because I think right now we're in two pandemics, right? We're in the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, and this racial reckoning in the United States that's always been there. It’s just now people have social media and there's hashtags and people are like-oh, this is a real thing? We've been told you.

Noelle: It's been happening.

Miranda: We've known, we've known.

Ashley: So when I think about ECE, we're really grappling with this and it's so complicated. And I've also been in a national working group and it’s just like-how would we reimagine or rebuild these things? And I still kind of struggle with that 'cause I'm like-what are we building again??? It reminds me of making something great again, which is problematic if it wasn't great in the first place, right? Great for who? And so when I'm like-rebuilding this system for who? So when I think about that, I think that me as well as many advocates and folks in ECE that are doing this work, we’re really struggling because what we knew to be the ECE system before was already problematic and has been extremely exacerbated by these two pandemics. So it's really hard for me to answer that question because we have to kind of unpack and be like-well how did we get here in the first place, right? So I think that what I can say is that when thinking about a radical or revolutionary revisioning of ECE, it has to-I can say some things that it has to have-I don't have all of the answers yet 'cause I think we're really grappling with this, at least me and my team are and it’s taken us a few months to kind of wrap our heads around it, right? Because you don't want the same thing you had before. And people have already, you know, been rushing to put out-I don't want to say rushing 'cause I don't wanna make judgments on people that have already put things out-but they've been putting out proposals, right? This is what it would look like, this is what the funding stream would look like, this is what access, this is what professional development might look like, but what I've been seeing or what I've been noticing each time is that it's missing two critical things. First, the workforce. The ECE workforce. So they continue to center access for children, and family and funding to support that, disconnect it from strategies and acknowledgement for the need for higher compensation for the workforce that are doing this.  And this is critical because-to me it seems simple and I'll try to say it simply-children's learning environments that we're trying to push access and funding for them to access and have, their learning environments are literally teacher’s work environments. It's the same thing. It's the same exact thing. Maybe have a break room, but besides that it's the same thing. So teacher’s work environments-if their working conditions are poor, what are we fighting for access to, right? And so these two things are inextricably linked, they have to be together. So when we're talking about what children and families need, we have to also be talking about what educators need if we want quality education, if we want equitable, just education. So that piece, the workforce cannot be invisible. The second piece that has been missing-drum roll please-the workforce, again. So again, if anybody-

Noelle: Soooo, the workforce.

Ashley: If anybody on this planet has ideas about how to create an equitable and justice system in ECE, it's educators themselves.

Miranda: Hey, who would have thought?

Ashley: What a concept

Miranda: The people doing the work.

Ashley: What a concept, we have to ask them. We have to involve them, they have to have a seat at the table, they have to have their own table of power to be informing and shaping policy solutions, research, whatever it is that we're trying to get at, educators have to be at the crux of this. So I will say that again, we're really grappling with it, our team is working on it, and when we’re done I will definitely share. But I will say that we're taking an approach on centering the fact that we need to be focusing on realizing rights for early educators. So when we think about rights it's a different frame and we need to recognize that educators have the right to be acknowledged, respected for the skilled brain architecture that they're doing with young children and they need to be paid justly and fairly for that. So that’s the frame that we're coming from. When we're done, I will share that with this team.

Noelle: Come back, come back and visit us

Miranda: Let us know and we’ll put up on our website. And you know, I think the thing is there's no right answer necessarily, but there are things that we can do better. There are so many things that we can be doing better and just listening to the people in the workforce is huge and we see that in so many systems in society, management and higher up just putting laws and policy in place, and they’re just so disconnected. So why not ask the folks that are on the ground during the work? So thank you so much for your time today. Truly appreciate you being here. Before we go though, can you tell us either some social media platforms we can find you on or other organizations doing this work? For a lot of folks-Noelle and I, we've worked with children in different capacities, obviously this is your realm, but for folks that aren't familiar with this, where can they go to be an ally? Where can they find more information on this work? Let us know?

Ashley: I would say a good starting place is at the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment. You know you can find us at (or click the link) You can also find this on Twitter at cscce@UC Berkeley, and we’re on Facebook, we’re on all of those things-LinkedIn, all of those things. Just to kind of help the framing of the issue and just to see some of the research and policy solutions that we've been putting out. Also, if there are things that we highlight, we highlight them on those platforms. So I would say that's just a good place to start. That is where I fangirled. To me working with Marcy and Lea is like Beyoncé and Kelly and I get so hype. So before I started working with them I’m like-Oh my God, these people, they finally get it! They put these, these, these people get it! So, they get it. We get it…,'cause I work there now. So check out those platforms. I also will say for me personally, I have to update my Twitter so now I'm DrAshW_4ece

Miranda and Noelle: Ayyyyeeeeeee!

Ashley: You can find me there on Twitter as well as LinkedIn under Ashley C Williams.

Miranda: Beautiful, thank you.

Noelle: Well next week we’ll continue discussing equity in education with Christy Leader as we explore how schools can better engage with and support families through culturally responsive and anti bias framework. As a reminder, if you're interested in referencing or learning more about what we discussed today, please be sure to check out our show notes on our website. Thanks for joining us everyone.

Miranda and Ashley: Bye.

[Outro music plays]

Miranda: The Unpacked Project is produced by Vicky Lee. Branding and Marketing by Raquel Avalos.

Noelle: Show us some love and be sure to like, subscribe and review our podcast. And to stay connected and up-to-date, follow us on Instagram at the_unpacked project.

Miranda: Shout out to all of our listeners who unpacked with us today, we’ll see you next week.

Noelle: Peace!

Miranda: Ayye byyeee 

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