Communications Committee: Building Public Awareness for Investment in Maine’s Youngest Children

Social marketing and building awareness in support of Maine’s youngest children and their families is a challenge that is addressed through the work of the Communications Committee. The Committee is tasked with (a) building public will for early childhood investment among targeted populations and (b) communicating the work of the Maine Children’s Growth Council to policymakers.

Through publications, we provide education and access to neuroscience Information and the most current data on evidence-based programs for early childhood investment. We focus on the general public and frame early childhood messaging to specific targeted populations: business leaders, philanthropy, parents, policymakers, educators, providers and the health and medical community, among others. We lend our support to events, conferences, public hearings and related meetings with a consistent message to promote the healthy growth and development of Maine’s youngest children.


  • Increase visibility and awareness towards policy and systems change
  • Positive publicity for early childhood education and the Council
  • Increase business leadership and support
  • Increase legislative leadership and support
  • Increase philanthropic leadership and support


Karen Heck, Bingham Program (Chair)
Leslie Forstadt, Ph.D, University of Maine, Orono
Kim Gore, Fight Crime Invest in Kids, America’s Edge, Mission Readiness
Bill Hager, ACCESS
Peter Lindsay, United Ways of Maine
Judy Reidt Parker, Advocate
Sheryl Peavey, Early Childhood Initiative, ME DHHS
Lauren Sterling, Educare Central MaineMeredith Strang Burgess (Burgess Advertising)
Donna Overcash, Child and Family Policy and Communications Consultant


Meetings are called based on communications planning.

The Council’s Communications Committee actively posts videos on this website and to the MCGC YouTube Channel and shares documents in News, Resources and Archives that support the core story of child development and the Council’s message.

PRODUCTS Developed and Available for Distribution/Utilization

  • Banners (6’ stand alone, two sets) depicting the Core Story of Child Development
  • Table top and wall posters and with easels of Core Story
  • Brochure of Council
  • Bumper stickers-The Youngest Mainers: Our future prosperity is built on their success
  • Core Story Banners at Educare Central Maine
  • Array of fact sheets/information sheets/research summaries


  • New and expanded Council website
  • Facebook page
  • Legislative Facts (distributed daily during 124th/125th Legislature)
  • Development and recruitment of Maine Early Learning Investment Group (MELIG)
  • Through collaboration with Fight Crime Invest in Kids, America’s Edge and Mission Readiness published op eds and letters to the editors
  • Two 30 second television ads” Brain Architecture and We See You See. They aired May, 2011 in three media regional markets: Portland, Bangor, and Presque Isle, 261 times in Portland, 190 times in Bangor and 72 times in Presque Isle specifically during the morning and evening news, and prime time including Red Sox/Yankees, American Idol, and Jeopardy. Geared to adults 34-64)
  • Frameworks Institute training in messaging (2010-2011)
  • Public Policy Campaign: Strong Foundations for a Prosperous Maine Future (2011)
  • New England Early Childhood Network leadership
  • Numerous events at state capitol, Step Up for Kids Day, Infant Toddler Awareness Day, United Way events, health fairs, college fairs

Work continues in support of the CEO-led Maine Early Learning Investment Group (MELIG) and promoting the 2013 release of “Path to a Better Future: The Fiscal Payoff of Investment in Early Childhood in Maine.”

Funding Sources have included: The Early Childhood Comprehensive Services Grant (ECCS), American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), National Governor’s Association (NGA), Partnership for America’s Success/PEW Charitable Trusts (PAES), The Bingham Program, Nellie Mae Education Foundation, and Jessie B. Cox Foundation.

The Harvard Center for the Developing Child is a primary source for the Council’s communication campaign. We use the Center’s materials and those of the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child and The National Forum on Early Childhood Policy and Programs extensively throughout our work and refer our readers to their research briefs, working papers, and educational videos.

We invite you to learn more about early childhood investments and the commitment of the Maine Children’s Growth Council. You, too, can become a part of our work. Contact us today for more information.