Join us Sundays at 4:30pm for new episodes of The Early Link Podcast. Listen live at 99.1 FM in the heart of Portland – or online anywhere at

On our latest episode, host Rafael Otto speaks with Lacey Hays, a parent and advocate in Washington County here in Oregon. She’s currently Co-Chair for the Early Learning Washington County Steering Committee and a member of both the Preschool for All Technical Advisory Committee and the Organizing and Outreach Committees, all of that work is in support of establishing Preschool for All in Washington County.



Lacey Hays has lived with her wife, eight-year-old son, and menagerie of pets in Hillsboro, Oregon on the border of where the city meets the forest. For the past seven years she’s been a strong parent voice for equitable early childhood education and early childhood special education in Washington County and the state of Oregon, participating in and, at times, chairing committees dedicated to creating policies that work for parents and providers in our community. When she takes off her advocacy hat, she can be found editing manuscripts, writing hopeful science fiction stories, and exploring the vast and beautiful wild places of Oregon with her wonderful family.



We begin with Hays sharing the story of her son and how he has been a driver for her advocacy. Since she has been quite active in Washington County, she then details the work she’s currently involved in and how she balances it all. Following this, she talks about the importance of parent voice in the development of policy or improving access to various components such as early intervention, special education, preschool, etc.

Since one of the efforts Hays is working on involves the implementation of Preschool for All (PFA) in Washington County, she closes the episode by detailing the similarities and differences between Washington and Multnomah County’s PFA strategies, and what she hopes to achieve with it in the near future.



Rafael Otto, Director of Communications, Children’s Institute

~ Thanks to Children’s Institute, working to ensure that every child in Oregon has the best start in life