Elisabeth "Liz" Chun, Executive Director of Good Beginnings Alliance, will appear next Sunday on Kukui Connection, the weekly talk show hosted by Rep. Marilyn Lee. The show airs at 4 p.m., Sunday, September 25th on Olelo Ch. 54. (Repeats on 10/9 and 10/23)
Liz Chun has been with Good Beginnings Alliance for 14 years, but her connection to and experience in early childhood education goes back many years before that. Her education and training is in education, she worked at Headstart, ran a private business for 13 years on consulting with families on how to work with young children, joined the Governor's Office of Children and Youth in 1993, worked at the Department of Human Services in 1996, and then began with Good Beginnings Alliance in 1997.
Good Beginnings is what is called an "intermediary organization". They don't do direct service, but bring community concerns to others who do policy making. Their role is to encourage good policy for young children (0-8), and to help increase resources for this age group. They look at the full spectrum of safety and health, and how well children are ready to succeed in school. This includes prevention of child abuse.
Hawaii has good access to health care for young children, although there are still gap groups. Hawaii does poorly, however, in dental health.
Liz talks about how the poor economy has resulted in great cutbacks which have impacted children's care dramatically. They are working to provide continued support for children through other resources, including starting the children's advocacy project "Be My Voice".
Liz is encouraged that Governor Abercrombie has appointed Terry Lock to be the Early Childhood coordinator, and hopes this may lead to the development of an Early Childhood Education office.
Strategies include community mobilization, social media, and having people speak up and "be a voice."
There are 80,000 children under 5 years in Hawaii, and they can't speak for themselves. These organizations strive to be their voice.
The Good Beginnings website is here.
The Be My Voice campaign website is here.
In 2008, Liz Chun testified on Early Education in Washington DC before the House Committee on Education and Labor. Congresswoman Mazie Hirono introduced her in this video: