On April 22 and April 29, Children’s Institute and the Oregon Association for the Education of Young Children (ORAEYC) teamed up to host the Oregon premier of the groundbreaking early childhood documentary No Small Matter

Hundreds of parents, child care providers, educators, and advocates came to OMSI for two sold-out screenings of the movie, the first feature-length documentary that aims to kick-start the public conversation about early care and education.  

Following the first screening of the film, Dana Hepper, Children’s Institute’s director of policy and advocacy moderated a panel discussion on Oregon’s early childhood programs and services. She focused on the need for additional state investments to fund early childhood. Member of the Joint Committee On Student Success Representative Diego Hernandez joined Cara Copeland, executive director of the Oregon Association of Relief Nurseries; Andrea Paluso, executive director of Family Forward; and Dorothy Spence, hub director of the Northwest Regional Education Service District on the panel.

Attendees at the second panel heard up-to-the-minute updates from Danielle Pacifico-Cogan, Children’s Institute’s director of community affairs and James Barta, Children First for Oregon’s strategic director on HB 3427. This bill includes historic investments in early childhood programs and services currently moving through the state legislature.

Attendees at both screenings took the opportunity to voice their support for investments in early childhood programs and services. Mother of two Mackenzie Weintraub explained why early childhood matters to her: “My children deserve the best start and so do all children everywhere. It is also important to make a smart investment in our society and get lower rates of incarceration, better health, and more economic success!”

The enthusiasm for the film demonstrates growing support across the state for increased investments in the programs and services that support young children, parents, and the early childhood workforce.  Parents, educators, and child care providers are joining a coalition of more than 30 organizations across the state speaking up on behalf of kids.

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