Host a candidate visit to a child care centre
A great next step after a candidate meeting at a constituency office is to invite the candidate to visit a local child care program. Or, if the candidate’s staff has been unable to schedule a meeting, try offering a program tour instead. This might be more appealing to the candidate, as they will know that they will have a chance to meet many constituents, see a local community program, and get their picture taken.
A centre visit can also be a great alternative to an office meeting if you would feel more comfortable in a less formal setting or would prefer to show instead of telling the candidate about the importance of quality child care.
Before inviting the candidate, be sure that you have buy-in from others at the centre – director or, board members, staff and parents. Explain that visits of this kind will raise the profile of the centre in the community. It can be a fun and friendly way to get staff and parents involved in advocacy.
In planning the visit, be sure to invite at least a couple of parents, as well as some educators who can speak to their experiences. Review with them the speaking notes for candidate meetings in this kit but also encourage them to speak from the heart about their experiences.
Time it right
Sometimes it works best to have the visit during opening hours when the candidate can see the centre in action, but for other centres it works better to do a tour after hours. Try to work around the candidate’s schedule.
If you are having a BBQ or other community event at your centre, consider inviting candidates.
Be sure to follow up with the candidate after the event to thank them for visiting. This is all about building a relationship with your candidate. You are their link to the child care community, and a trusted local voice on issues that impact child care.
Email template to invite your candidate to visit your child care centre
On behalf of the staff and parents at _____________ Early Learning and Child Care Centre I am writing to invite you to visit our centre, located in ___ and serving ____ families. We would love to give you a tour of our program, show you what we do, introduce you to some staff and parents, and discuss the important contributions that our programs make to our local community and the economy. Please let me know some dates and times that work well for you and we will make an effort to accommodate your schedule.