How Local Governments Play a Key Role to a Mother’s Success

By:

  • Jammie Albert
  • Nancy Zuech Lim
  • Anna White
May 7, 2021

Mothers play an important role in every aspect of our lives. As cities across the nation continue to move towards recovery, we urge all local leaders to ensure children and families, especially women, have access to resources necessary to thrive. Whether you live in a frontier community, small town or a bustling city, local governments are key to addressing the everyday issues facing mothers. 

Local leaders are well-positioned to support policies and programs that promote access to services like high-quality early learning environments, health services, and assistance with childcare. By connecting mothers with access to these resources, city leaders can strengthen outcomes for young children and increase the likelihood of success for families.

As we celebrate mothers, we asked the moms on the Early Childhood Success Team to share how local governments have helped them along their parenting journey. 

Jammie Albert, Program Manager

To be expecting you are hoping for the best outcomes possible. As an expectant mother, I experienced firsthand the importance and impact of community supports in the earliest years of life – during the prenatal through age three developmental period. I was grateful for my resources such as Healthy Start Inc. which locally helped me to prepare and care for my son. When I returned to school, I took comfort in having a safe family childcare setting where my son could learn and grow. Today, that premature, five-pound baby stands over 6 ft tall with a college degree. That is the impact of community-based support and high-quality early learning experiences.

Nancy Lim, Program Director

I am blessed with two wonderful children, with two very different entries into our lives. My second child was a high-risk pregnancy born nine-weeks premature who experienced hospitalization and early developmental delays. For both pregnancies, alongside my family, friends and neighbors was my local government. Local government provided access to high-quality health services which kept us safe and growing. When early intervention services were needed, local program providers worked seamlessly with us and our healthcare teams. We had the right resources and services, delivered with care, at every point. Our local government has been there and still is there as our children have grown.

To the Cities of Boston and Dedham, MA, Nashville, TN and Rockville, MD – thank you for supporting the hope and promise each child is born with through your policies, practices, and programs.  I am so grateful.

Anna White, Program Manager

The demographics of the American workforce have changed. More than 65.8% of mothers with children younger than six are in the labor force and among working mothers, 77.5% work full time. When I became a parent, like many others, I thought I could have it all. I had a demanding career working in the Alaska State Legislature while raising a child and living in the City of Juneau, a place with no roads in or out, thousands of miles away from my support network. 

My son just celebrated his ninth birthday on May 4, and just like he has grown so too has my career. It hasn’t been easy and I have relied on government programs and services to enable me to work, contribute to society and have a family. While in Alaska, I was fortunate to have on-site childcare that enabled me to be productive at work while knowing that my son was being well-cared for nearby. When I made the move to Washington, DC, my son was able to take advantage of the city’s universal preschool program, which equipped him with the knowledge and skills I would not have been able to give him on my own. 

The National League of Cities thanks all local leaders dedicated to ensuring supports and resources are available for mothers to thrive. It does take a city, town, and village to raise a child.

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About the Authors

Jammie Albert

About the Authors

Jammie Albert is a Program Manager for Early Childhood Success in the Institute for Youth, Education, and Families at NLC.

Nancy Zuech Lim

Nancy Zuech Lim is the Program Manager for Early Childhood Success in the Institute for Youth, Education, and Families at NLC.

Anna White

Anna White is a Program Manager for Early Childhood Success in the Institute for Youth, Education, and Families.