Grant Period:

Grant Type:
General Operating

Other Funders:
Booth Ferris Foundation, Alliance for Early Success

$115,000 per year for 2 years

Albany, New York

Focus Area:
Utica, New York


To create racial and economic justice in education, based on equity and adequacy, in order to ensure that all children have the opportunity for high quality education and development.


AQE works with many partners, including: Citizen Action for New York, the Ready for K, Ready for College campaign, Raising New York campaign, the Schuyler Center, and the Center for Children’s Initiatives.

More Information

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Jasmine Gripper
Executive Director
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Project Summary

The purpose of the grant is to interject a robust grassroots advocacy presence into statewide child care advocacy and to do so in ways that incorporate strong policy and effective coalition partnerships.

The Alliance for Quality Education is focused on targeted grassroots organizing and leadership development that is increasing engagement of parents participating in statewide actions. This is providing a frontline demand for expanded early childhood services, lifting up parents voices and the need for services, and increasing public pressure on the legislature.

AQE will organize and build out a strong grassroots presence in Utica, New York--a medium sized city with a large and diverse population. Utica faces economic challenges representative of the state as a rust belt city with considerable poverty and an influx of

immigrants. Utica is the heart of legislative districts in Congress and in both houses of the state legislature that are competitive swing districts.

AQE will work in neighborhoods most affected by lack of child care and across racial and ethnic groups, and immigrants from a variety of communities. Leaders coming from Utica will be part of a statewide networks of grassroots leaders in Buffalo, Rochester, Albany and New York City. At the state level, leaders from each region will be part of a statewide strategy committee along with other partner groups. Thus,  the RCCF grant will leverage other investments and statewide work.

Both access and quality are priorities for AQE. One specific area of focus will be addressing the of multilingual learners, this will be essential at every level: it is core to working in Utica which is federally recognized as a refugee community and it has become key with the larger early childhood advocacy community.

Selected Action Steps Related to RCCF Goals

Lift parent, child care teacher, home-based child care provider, caregiver and ally voices and increase their participation in crafting policy solutions in states and/or communities.

  • Conduct door-to-door and peer-to-peer outreach focused in Black, Latino and immigrant/refugee communities. Outreach will identify potential leaders and activists.
  • Develop grassroots leadership development focused on: peer to peer outreach, strategy formation, public speaking, media, meeting facilitation, advocacy event planning and organizing, advocacy with policy makers, and coalition building.
  • Undertake community survey to identify child care needs in different ethnic communities, including through community based events. The survey will be provided in English, Spanish, and Karen.

Build effective coordination among RCCF grantees and advocacy groups, community groups, parents, child care teachers, home-based child care providers, caregivers, and allies.

  • Build policy unity between grassroots and statewide advocacy efforts.
  • Coordinate advocacy with state policymakers by grassroots leaders in conjunction with local ally organizations and statewide early childhood allies in order to communicate clear unified needs.
  • Incorporate child care needs into unified policy agenda with prekindergarten to 12th grade needs.

Expand financial resources to secure increased and equitable access to quality child care, including through intentional strategies to reach and prioritize children and families most affected by injustice and inequity

  • Issue white paper on local Utica survey results on community child care  as emblematic of issues statewide (including child care issues for immigrant communities).
  • Incorporate child care issues into non-partisan educational briefing materials to be made available to all candidates running for state office.

Updated November 20, 2020

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