Advocacy at Rhode Island State House
Advocacy testimony at Rhode Island State House
Advocacy at Rhode Island State House


Advocacy is one of Children’s Friends’ five principles. We define advocacy as “taking a leadership role in educating policymakers and the public on the needs of the youngest and most vulnerable children and their families.”

2023 End of Legislative Session Update

On Friday, June 16, Governor Dan McKee signed the Fiscal Year 2024 State Budget, which included several of our priorities and needed investments in early childhood.

See how our 2023 Priorities fared in the FY24 Budget and legislative session:

The final budget includes funding to keep all Pre-K classrooms running even after federal funding ends.

The final budget includes a one-time investment of $3 million to support Head Start and Early Head Start.

The final budget includes a one-year continuation of bonuses to Teachers and Teacher Assistants, and a one-year pilot of a program to offer free child care to Teachers and Teacher Assistants for their own young children.

The final budget includes a one-year extension of last year’s rate increase. 

The final budget did not include any changes to the Early Intervention program, nor were EI professionals added to the Wave Maker program. 

The final budget includes a one-year extension of the DCYF wage stabilization payments.

As you can see, while we achieved many successes this year, they are not permanent, and we will need to advocate again next year to continue these investments.We are optimistic that we can continue to advocate for permanent investments in services that benefit our most vulnerable children.

How You Can Help

One of the most effective tools we have is to share real stories of how Children’s Friend makes a difference for the children and families we serve.

Thriving In Early Head Start: Donovan’s Story

You might remember a very cute young boy stealing the show at RI Strolling Thunder 2023 by spontaneously grabbing a toy microphone and joining Governor McKee and other leaders to offer his “remarks.”

Willing to share your story? Reach out to  Rachel Flum at

Contact Your Legislators

It’s never too late to reach out to thank your legislators or ask them to do more to help children. 

To learn about advocacy events, see our social media.

For more information, please contact Rachel Flum at 

2023 Testimony