How to Advocate

Posted on June 18th, 2021

Are you passionate about issues around young children? We are too. Advocacy is one of the three focus areas of the Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington. But sometimes it is hard to know what to do, how to help, and if it will make a difference.


On June 16, 2021, Merrill Gay, Executive Director at the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance joined the ECCS Childcare Provider call and talked about How to be an Advocate. You can view the 2021 Advocacy Workshop PowerPoint presentation or watch the recording.

We learned about these elements of effective advocacy:

  • There is power in numbers
  • Know what you want
  • Understand the system you are working in
  • Find out who has the power to fix the problem
  • Make a compelling case
  • When at first you don’t succeed, try again

On January 17, 2018, the ECCS hosted a free legislative advocacy training session which was taught by Merrill Gay, Executive Director, and Samantha Dynowski, Director of Advocacy and Outreach, at the Connecticut Early Childhood AllianceHere is their PowerPoint presentation. Advocacy Workshop for ECCS

We learned about:

  • What is advocacy?
  • Defining a problem
  • Understanding the process
  • Decision-makers (see lists below)
  • Making the case for a solution
  • A plan for action: Planning Template and Testimony Template

The examples they used related to children’s issues such as healthcare and the Care4Kids program but the material will be helpful to anyone interested in advocacy.

Advocacy Opportunities

The Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance hosts an annual Early Childhood Advocacy Day at the State Capital, usually in March during the legislative session.  Contact us if you would like to join us in Hartford.

The ECCS shares additional advocacy opportunities on our social media pages.

Finding Decision Makers

Decision-makers at the National level:

Decision-makers at the State level:

Decision-makers at the Local level:

  • Southington Town government meeting minutes, agendas, live stream and recordings can be found here.
  • Town Council member contact information is here.
  • Southington Town Manager contact information can be found here.
  • Southington Board of Education members can be found here. To contact all Board of Education members, send an email to
  • Southington Superintendent of School info is here.
  • Southington Public Schools information, including main office contact info and staff directory is here.