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Early Childhood Education Association of Colorado | Public Affairs

“ECE Is Important to Me!”

The Challenge
In 2009, the State of Colorado needed to cut more than $700 million from the state budget. That meant that steep reductions loomed for many state programs, including a proposed $2 million cut in combined state and federal matching funds to help low-income families afford childcare.  The Early Childhood Education Association of Colorado (ECEAC) turned to MGA Communications to gain support for preserving those funds.

The MGA Solution
ECEAC had a limited budget and needed to prove its value to state legislators in a short time (the organization was planning a rally at the State Capitol two weeks after contacting MGA). The MGA team worked with the organization to craft key messages and promote the upcoming rally. MGA also helped ECEAC create a replicable public outreach campaign that could be used by early childhood education associations across the country in the face of perpetually tightening state budgets.

The fate of the childcare assistance program rested entirely in the hands of the Colorado legislature. With no money for paid advertising, MGA developed a combined media relations and social media program aimed at key state legislators, local reporters and known early childhood education supporters. The team created an online petition to present to the legislature – and solely used the social networks of Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to obtain signatures. MGA also targeted and secured authored pieces on influential parenting blogs in the Denver area.

At the End of the Day
The state legislature left funding for the childcare assistance program completely intact, and low-income families were able to provide safe, quality care for their children during the workday. MGA not only helped ECEAC prevent budget cuts to one of the state’s most important programs, but created a strategic outreach program that could be used by education advocates across the country.

Key Results

  • Childcare assistance program was spared funding cuts
  • Rally featured five prominent speakers and over 50 school-aged children
  • Childcare assistance story was featured in the Denver Post and The Colorado Statesman as well as three major market television news stations
  • Online petition circulated through social media networks garnered more than 500 signatures 

 
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