The Children's Advocate is an award-winning, bimonthly newsmagazine with a readership of more than 23,000 children's services providers, early care and education teachers and providers, parents and families, and advocates.
Since 1973, the Children's Advocate has covered trends and public policy issues affecting children and their families in California. Each issue offers a range of articles, including grassroots activism, advice for families and early care and education staff, current trends, and policy issues. Each issue also covers a variety of topics, such as advocacy, child care, child development, health, school-age children, poverty, and more. The Children's Advocate is bilingual in print (English and Spanish) and trilingual online (English, Spanish, and Chinese).
What We Are Advocating For
The Children's Advocate is a group of people who are dedicated to providing information, education, inspiration and the ability to connect with other like-minded people who work with and are advocates for the health and well being of children throughout California.
Our aim is to provide a wealth of useful, timely information that is reader-friendly in the areas of current issues, trending topics and public policies that concern children and their families. This information is directed towards families, early care staff, education staff, and other people who work with children, and advocates of the welfare of children.
Our belief is that by providing useful information we can help to improve the lives of children and their families. In addition to this we are strong advocates of providing more affordable housing for low-income families in good communities where children have safe parks to play in. We believe that it is an integral part of a child’s development in the early years to explore play in order to both physically and mentally grow, and to interact with other children in an environment that fosters the learning of effective social skills so that they may grow to be responsible and confident adults who will contribute to their communities in a positive way.
The ability to read is a fundamental right of all children and a necessary skill, as well as a fun way to learn about other cultures, the animal kingdom, social skills and so much more. The more knowledge a child can gain during the years in which they absorb information easily the better their knowledge base when they are older. Reading also feeds the imagination and provides a child with the opportunity to explore outside of his or her surroundings. We are advocates of every child having easy access to books on a wide range of topics as an essential tool to encouraging children to read often. Especially when the issue is financial, we are organizing or supporting initiatives aimed at collecting unused books, which can be a special gift for children during the holidays for example.
"A child miseducated is a child lost."
John F. Cennedy
As many families today require both parents to work there is a growing need for good child care facilities and early education establishments. We offer tips on what makes a good caregiver, how to find the right care for children of all ages, how to interact with teachers, how to choose the right schools, the struggles facing teachers today and more. Parents should have peace of mind that they are leaving their children in the care of professional, skilled caregivers and/or teachers while they work. We believe that raising children in an environment where one or more parents work requires a group effort to ensure the health and well-being of the child at all times.
We are advocates of children being raised in a safe environment where they are not subjected to the likes of domestic violence, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and/or verbal abuse. To this end we have tips and advice to help interested parties prevent abuse and also recognize the signs of abuse. We endeavor to provide information that will inform parents of children in abusive situations of their rights, the resources available to them and where they can go with their children should leaving the home be necessary. We provide information for those who wish to foster children so they know the process and also what to expect in the behavior of a child who is being fostered. We also keep readers informed about welfare reform.
The number of children who are not provided with three good meals each day is growing as families face financial hardship. The physical, mental and emotional health of all children is important. We provide nutritional advice for both parents and school canteens in the hopes of ensuring children’s nutritional needs are met. We make information regarding the healthy development of children available to all those interested, along with where to get health insurance. For those working with children with mental or emotional problems we provide information to help them get the support and resources they need.
For those suffering financial hardship, going through divorce, in abusive situations, lacking in family support and/or dealing with other hardships we endeavor to provide support and information that will help them cope with their current situations and move into healthier environments. When hardship is present we find that children often suffer despite their parents’ best efforts to shield them from it, and adults don’t know where to turn for help. Our aim is to provide them with the informational resources to rebuild their lives.
With low income families often living below the poverty line we believe there is a serious shortage of affordable housing and jobs that provide a livable income and negate the need for long overtime hours. This is resulting in children going hungry because parents simply cannot afford to feed them three good meals a day. Living in a recession, with state budget cuts to essential services for those in need is an issue that needs urgent attention. We advocate state and national attention to providing the means for poverty-stricken families to improve their circumstances.
We are concerned that children of school age receive a good education and that those with special needs have suitable provisions made for their education. We recognize that there is a growing need for bilingual education for the growing number of children speaking 2 or more languages. We also believe that standards and testing provide accurate assessments of a child’s educational level and that help be provided when children fall behind. We are also aware that teachers are being called upon to provide more and more classroom resources as school budgets do not allow for even the most basic classroom needs in some areas.
We strongly advocate the ongoing education of children to prevent playground bullying, online bullying, and teaching those working with children the signs that indicate a child is being bullied. We are deeply concerned by the rise in domestic violence and violence within the community, and the effect violent and aggressive video games are having upon our children and would like age restrictions on such gaming be stricter.
For Child Care Providers
Are you looking for tips on working with children and families in your program? Want to know more about issues affecting early care and education? Want to find out about efforts to improve early care and education in California -- and how you can join in?
The Children’s Advocate offers a range of articles and resources for early care and education teachers and providers in California, including advice and tips, activism, and child care policy and trends.