Roses, champagne flutes, glittery gems and jewelry--all great. But these days, I'm all about a different kind of Valentine's Day: Red construction paper hearts, lopsided, and shaped by small hands wielding safety scissors, glue sticks, and glitter.
Let's face it. Lopsided glitter glue has the power to melt hearts far and wide.
What if we could use the power of Valentine's Day to stand up for kids and get Congress to focus on preschool and quality, affordable childcare?
It turns out, we (you) can!
*Click this link to see our super cool online valentine-creation-station and make your card to tell your Congressperson why programs for kids and families like preschool and childcare make your heart glow: http://action.momsrising.org/ go/690
That's right, this year we're getting crafty (with a nifty high tech edge) for Congress.
We created an online valentine-creation-station where in less than 1 minute you can create a valentine for your Congressperson. After the valentines are made online, we'll personally print and deliver your valentine along with thousands of others in Washington, D.C., making this Valentine's Day a truly powerful holiday. By filling the halls of Congress with your "homemade" valentines, we'll make sure our Representatives can't forget about their littlest constituents. And, we'll remind Congress what kids need for Valentine's Day this year: programs like preschool and quality, affordable childcare.
Feel free to share the tool with your kids and friends by forwarding this email now: We need everyone's help to fill the halls of Congress with valentines!
Why does Congress need to pay attention to child care and preschool this Valentine's Day?
Nearly 12 million children under age five regularly spend time in child care. Quality, affordable early learning programs, like Head Start, help children succeed in school and in life. More than 85% of a child's core brain structure is formed by age 5.  So it's no surprise that quality preschool programs, like Head Start, improve later school grades; those programs are literally helping kids build the brains they need to succeed.
Quality early learning programs also build strong families. In today's economy, most families need two incomes to make ends meet. That makes preschool and child care a necessity for working parents and when parents do better, kids do better too.
Parents are struggling enough in this economy without worrying about whether they can afford child care and whether their children are safe. If we can't remind Congress about the millions of children and families that depend on early care and education programs, hundreds of thousands of children throughout the country could lose quality, affordable child care and preschool.
So let's grab Congress' attention by filling the halls of Congress with valentines for kids! Let's virtually wield the all-powerful glue stick and stand up for kids today.
*Don't forget to take a moment to check out our fun and quick valentines-creation-station and get Congress to focus on kids at the same time:
Take a moment now to forward this to two to three friends so they can use our valentine-creation-station for Congress too. Help to fill the halls of Congress with valentines!
P.S. You're Invited: Join us this Monday (Valentines Day!) at 12:00 pm PST/ 3:00 pm EST on our Facebook Page for an Early Learning Valentines Day Party! We'll have an Early Learning expert on our page, answering your questions about budget issues and childcare. We'll also be sharing blogs, resources, and more. See you there!
 U.S. Congressional Committee on Education and Labor, July 2009
 "Learning Begins at Birth," State Early Childhood Policy Technical Assistance Network (PDF)
 "Fate of 300,000 Children in Early Education and Child Care in the Hands of Congress," National Women's Law Center