How Entertainment Media Can Influence Better Childcare Policy

March 6, 2019, 6 pm

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Entertainment media offers great opportunity to reach as many people as possible including influencers and policy makers who can effect social change.

The USC Media Institute for Social Change and the Stein Early Childhood Development Fund at CCF began a promising collaboration in April 2018 aimed at addressing access to quality childcare and its long-term benefits to toddlers and their caregivers, particularly among working families. MISC produced a narrative film, Maya and Lily, that follows two young sisters (Maya and Lilly) who authorities realize have been left without adult supervision by their single working mother, and the consequences that result from the discovery.

Join us for the debut screening of Maya and Lily, followed by a panel discussion on how films, television shows and other entertainment media can bring issues like this to greater awareness.


Moderator: DR. ROBERTA GOLINKOFF is the Unidel H. Rodney Sharp Professor of Education, Psychological and Brain Sciences, and Linguistics and Cognitive Science at the University of Delaware and director of the Child’s Play, Learning, and Development laboratory. A renowned expert in the field of early childhood development, her many awards include John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and the James McKeen Cattell prize. She is the author of numerous articles and twelve books on language development, the benefits of play, and preschoolers’ early spatial knowledge, and is a highly sought media expert. Dr. Golinkoff’s research is funded by the National Science Foundation, the Institute of Education Sciences and the National Institutes of Health.

ERNESTINE BENEDICT is Chief Communications Officer of Zero To Three, which promotes strong family and community connections from birth. She guides all communication functions, including digital communications, media and public relations, brand management and promotion. Previously, she was Chief Communications Officer for the Campaign For Grade-Level Reading, a national effort to boost children’s early literacy and early school success. She was also Chief of Communications for the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) and Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Reading Is Fundamental, the nation’s largest children’s literacy organization.

DAVID ISAACS is a veteran writer and producer of episodic television and films.  He was credited as a writer, co-producer or creative consultant on M*A*S*H*, Cheers, Wings, FrasierBecker and Mad Men.  His writing credits also include episodes of The SimpsonsThe Tracey Ullman Show, The Jeffersons and The Tony Randall Show. He co-created and executive produced the series MaryBig Wave Dave'sand Almost Perfect for CBS. Over the course of his career he has been involved as a writer or producer in over eight hundred episodes of TV comedy. He is a professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts in the John Wells Division of Writing for Screen & Television.

GAIL LERNER is an Executive Producer on ABC’s comedy series black-ish.   She has also served as a Co-Executive Producer on series including Happy Endings, Ugly Betty, and Will & Grace.  In 2011 she also began directing TV comedy.  Directing credits include Grace and Frankie, black-ish, Awkward, Odd Mom Out, Trophy Wife, and Happy Endings, as well as the independent short films GIRLS: Season 38 and Raise the ToyGantic.   Her short film, Seraglio, which was co-written and co-directed with her dashing and talented husband, Colin Campbell, was nominated for a 2001 Academy Award.  She holds an MFA in Theater Directing from Columbia University.

MICHAEL OLENICK is President and CEO of the Childcare Resource Center where he oversees all programs, projects, and services provided to over 50,000 children and families each month in a service area spanning 22,500 square miles. Since his tenure began in 2004 he has grown the organization from $89 million to $225 million and the staff from 300 to 800. He holds a Ph.D. in Education and has served on numerous boards and committees at the county, state and national level. He is currently a board member of Zero to Three.


The Media Institute for Social Change (MISC) is a non-profit, Emmy Award winning organization focused on promoting the use of media for positive social change through content creation, scholarships, education and research to present and future media content creators. MISC aims to be a leader in advancing thought, discussion, and experimentation of how various forms of media can be utilized most effectively to influence maximum social impact. For more information:


The Stein Early Childhood Development Fund, through the California Community Foundation, supports nonprofit organizations working to educate and inspire action from the public to support quality child care, education and experiences for pre-natal to three-year-old children, their caregivers and their families. The fund is supported by the California Community Foundation, which has served as a public, charitable organization since 1915, empowering donors to pursue their own personal passions and to collaborate with us in addressing the root causes of challenges in Los Angeles County. CCF stewards nearly $1.7 billion in assets and manages 1,700 charitable foundations, funds and legacies. For more information, please visit

Contact Information

Name: Michael Taylor