Type: Events

Champions for Children Annual Event

Thursday, October 31, 2024

11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Arizona Heritage Center

1300 N College Ave, Tempe, AZ 85288


Join child advocates and supporters at CAA's annual event to honor champions who work tirelessly to build an Arizona where all children and families thrive.

We will recognize unsung heroes, child advocates, and organizations that tirelessly champion the well-being of children in Arizona. We invite you to nominate outstanding individuals and organizations that make a difference in children and their families. Award categories include Lifetime Achievement, Youth Champion, Organization, and Everyday Hero. 

Click here for more information about nominating a champion.

Please submit your nominations by Friday, August 16.  

Nominate a Champion!

If you're interested in becoming a sponsor, check out our opportunities below. Contact Damita Curry at dcurry@azchildren.org for more details.

Click below to purchase your tickets now!

ICYM: Elevate Her Event

As we closed out June, the Arizona Center for Economic Progress and Children’s Action Alliance gathered with leaders from a broad spectrum of backgrounds to host a data filled forum on the impact that lack of child care and paid family medical leave have on women, their families, and the economy.

Why is this so important to Children’s Action Alliance? Because economic stability is one of the key supports that can help a child and family thrive.

Why is this so important to the Arizona Center for Economic Progress? Because our economy should work for all Arizonans regardless of barriers and advance opportunities that enhance everyone’s economic well-being.

Data was a core part of the gathering.

Paid Leave

  • Out of the 193 countries that are members of the United Nations, only six countries, including the United States, do not offer paid family leave. To fill this gap, 13 states and the District of Columbia have enacted paid leave programs.
  • About half of Arizona workers have access to unpaid leave but only 1 in 3 can afford it. Meanwhile, only 1 in 4 workers in the US and Arizona have access to paid leave.
  • A 2022 report notes that for many women, taking even a month of unpaid leave after childbirth is unaffordable and unattainable. Gaps in these benefits are larger among women who have lower incomes and those who work part-time.

Child Care

  • A recent report by Ready Nation estimates that the economic impacts of insufficient child care cost Arizona $4.7 billion annually.
  • A 2021 report found that investing in high-quality and affordable child care support for families could increase women’s lifetime earnings and retirement saving (on average close to $100,000 for a mother of two children) and help to reduce the gender inequity in earnings.

Thanks to all who attended the Elevate Her event as we work towards creating a more inclusive economy and workplace. And thank you to the leaders who joined us as speakers:

  • Keynote speech provided by the amazing Kelly Jenkins-Pultz, Regional Administrator, Women’s Bureau at the U.S. Department of Labor.
  • A compelling presentation of data about the impact of child care and paid family leave on women, their families, and our economy was presented by Joseph Palomino, Arizona Center for Economic Progress Director, and Geraldine Miranda, Economic Policy Analyst.
  • A panel of inspiring leaders moderated by January Contreras, Children’s Action Alliance CEO. Thank you to Whitney Daniels (Senior Advisor, Office of Governor Hobbs), Alejandra Gomez (Executive Director, LUCHA), and LaSetta Hogan (Deputy Economic Development Director, City of Phoenix).
  • A heartfelt legislative update was provided by Representative Junelle Cavero, who joined us as we gathered in her own district and discussed policy solutions for Arizonans.

Watch out for more on these issues.

Supporting Children and Families in Yuma County

Children’s Action Alliance takes its commitment to advocating alongside children and families from across Arizona seriously. This month, we listened and learned in Yuma County. The way for us to be the most effective advocates is to meet Arizonans where they are and ensure their joys and struggles inform our advocacy.

Thank you to the Regional Center for Border Health, Northern Arizona University, and the Arizona Department of Health Services for inviting us to present on the bright spots and challenges facing children as part of your health equity agenda in San Luis, Arizona. We also thank First Things First for inviting us to be a part of the Child Care Crisis Leadership Forum co-hosted by the Greater Yuma Economic Development Corp and the Yuma Chamber of Commerce. We heard employers seeking solutions that increase affordable child care. Finally, the Arizona Center for Economic Progress co-hosted a community gathering with Rural Engagement Arizona to discuss the care economy in the City of Yuma. We appreciate community members sharing their stories and experiences.

Thank you, Yuma County, for allowing us to advocate alongside you.

Join Our New Club!

Are you passionate about your community? Want to influence opinions and create positive change?  Join the club! CAA’s new Letter-To-Editor Club or Let’s Tell ‘Em Club (LTE) offers training to help you use your voice to educate your community and elected officials about issues that impact you, your family, and your community.

Have you ever read your local printed or digital news source and wanted to weigh in on an issue? We’re here to help community members from across Arizona do just this. We’re kicking off our LTE club with two training dates—one at night and one in the morning. Please sign up below. If any of the below are true for you, please join us!

✓ You’re excited about something happening in your community that you want more people to know about (For example, KidsCare health insurance was recently expanded!)

✓ You feel like your community may not know enough about an issue that is making you lose sleep at night (For example, I want to start a new job, but I can’t afford child care!).

✓ You don’t have a ton of time to dedicate to advocacy, but writing one letter to the editor is something you can do with a bit of help from Team CAA (For example, I can’t volunteer at my local food bank, but I can write a letter asking my legislator to support anti-hunger programs).

During the training, our CEO, January Contreras, and team members will explain what makes an outstanding letter to the editor and how we can help you get your letter published and promoted. We will gather monthly to discuss our achievements and obstacles and learn from each other.

You can make a significant impact with small actions!

Sign up for our virtual training here:

Tuesday, June 4, 6:00 PM and Friday, June 7, 9:30 AM

We hope to see you soon!

Early Childhood Day at the Capitol Advocates for Gov. Hobbs’ $100 Million Proposal

The Arizona Early Childhood Alliance (AZECA) hosted its 8th annual Day at the Capitol for parents, advocates, and legislators to raise awareness of the importance of a child’s earliest years.  Children’s Action Alliance is a member of the alliance.  This year’s event focus was centered around the Governor’s budget proposal of $100 million in child care assistance to stave off a looming funding cliff facing child care providers and parents in Arizona.  Attendees toured the House of Representatives Floor with Rep. Consuelo Hernandez, met with legislators privately on the issue and were encouraged by the bipartisan panel discussion with Rep. Pawlik, Rep. Ortiz and Sen. Bennett with a special welcome from Rep. Alma Hernandez.  The lawmakers agreed child care assistance is a top priority for this legislative session as it intersects with the topic of housing availability and housing costs. Rep. Ortiz sponsored bill HB2266 (Appropriation; childcare assistance) will put the Governor’s plan into fruition by providing funds to the Department of Economic Security to provide child care assistance to eligible families. Also, Sen. Sundareshan is sponsoring the senate bill in support of the Governor’s proposal.

CAA stands with lawmakers and communities who are working on this issue to stabilize Arizona’s early care and education system.  Without child care funding assistance and the federal child care relief sunsetting in September, as many as one-third of Arizona’s child care programs could close and nearly 100,000 children and their families could lose the child care they depend on.

ON THURSDAY: How to Support LGBTQIA+ Youth in Arizona's Child Welfare System

To register, click here.

For the full flyer with information, click here.

Join us for a virtual webinar this Thursday, January 18th, 2024 from 12:15pm-1:30pm! 

Engage with and learn from LGBTQIA+ folks with system experience, LGBTQIA+ community members, caregivers, advocates, judges and DCS about how to help LGBTQIA+ youth in Arizona's child welfare system thrive.


Opening – Molly Dunn, Children’s Action Alliance

Welcome – David Lujan, AZ Dept. of Child Safety

Who, What, Why? – Currey Cook, Lambda Legal

DCS Policy and Practice – Melissa Compian, AZ DCS

Panel Presentation – 

Panelists: TJ Fowler, Lived Experience Expert

Jennie Hedges, FosterEd Arizona & foster parent

Jennifer Redmond, Divine Sisters LLC Group Home

Judge Lisa Bibbens, Pima County Juvenile Court

Moderator: Brooke Silverthorn, Casey Family Programs


Certificates of attendance will be made available upon request.


For registration, click here.

For the full flyer with information, click here.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Nov. 1 - Through the Eyes of a Child

We can’t wait to gather as a community of champions for children at next week’s 35 YEARS: Through the Eyes of the Child. We want to share a special announcement with you as we prepare for this annual gathering.

Children’s Action Alliance is pleased to announce January Contreras as our new President & CEO. January comes to us from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where she was the Assistant Secretary at the Administration for Children and Families.

Her heart for service, experience influencing policy, and record of leading change for the well-being of children and families will undoubtedly lead Children’s Action Alliance and the Arizona Center for Economic Progress to new heights.


Join us on November 1 at The Children’s Museum of Phoenix to officially welcome January, hear from her, and to honor the Governor of Arizona, The Honorable Katie Hobbs. We can’t wait to join them and you to celebrate 35 years of wins for Arizona children and families!



Register for our 35 Years: Through the Eyes of the Child here.


Leadership Academies applications now open!

CAA and Arizona Early Childhood Alliance (AZECA) Leadership Academies are now accepting applications! 

Both leadership academies are designed to bring community leaders together to amplify their voices in a unique way to influence policymakers on children and health issues.  

CAA's Lived Experience Leadership Academy will focus on health care policies, and AZECA's Leadership Academy will prioritize early childhood issues that affect workforce development and the economy.  

Participants will receive training and tools to advocate for policy changes and solutions.  

*Please note that only current AZECA members are eligible to apply
for AZECA'S Leadership Academy. 

For more information, click below to check out our applications!

CAA's Application.

AZECA'S Application.

Thank you for 35 years and counting....

Our annual gathering, Through the Eyes of a Child celebration, was a big success. More than 120 supporters gathered to celebrate CAA’s 35 years of improving the well-being of children, and the people who have worked to make it possible.  We appreciate all our sponsors, and champions for children, including Governor Katie Hobbs, for her leadership and for officially proclaiming November 1st as Children's Action Alliance Day!

Your continued support is crucial in creating an Arizona where children and families thrive.



Incoming CEO January Contreras (left), and CAA Board of Directors Chair, Ayensa Millan (right) joined Governor Hobbs for presentation

(in center from left to right) Rep. Schwiebert, Rep. Pawlik, and Sen. Epstein joined CAA staff for the celebration.