Be a Big Voice for Little Kids™ in the Debt Ceiling Debates!
The August 2nd deadline for raising the debt ceiling is fast approaching, and the current debate in Congress continues to focus on significantly changing the structure of budgeting. As advocates for very young children, we must focus on the dire effect this restructuring of the size and role of the federal government would have on infants and toddlers. Your advocacy really matters! Watch this video message from ZERO TO THREE Policy Network member Stephanie Byrd to find out how you can make your voice heard in the budget debates.
For a clear explanation of the complicated budget process, check out The Federal Budget Process At a Glance from the ZERO TO THREE Policy Center. And remember to follow our Federal Policy Baby Blog for details and updates on the ongoing debate. The budget battle is not over, and we need you to Be a Big Voice for Little KidsTM!
ZERO TO THREE wants to know what's going on in your state!
Baby Matters is a public database maintained by ZERO TO THREE containing information on state policies and initiatives impacting infants, toddlers, and their families that serves as a resource for professionals, advocates, and policymakers. You can learn more about how Baby Matters is structured and check out the information already included on your state by clicking here. As we update Baby Matters, we are looking for information on innovative new policies and initiatives happening at the state level to include in the database. Please send ideas and your contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org; we may contact you for clarification or details.
State Policy Update
Arizona Begins Implementation of Quality Rating and Improvement System
In June, Arizona rolled out its quality rating and improvement system (QRIS), Quality First, as part of its commitment to an interconnected early learning system. The voluntary rating system will assess child care centers and home-based providers statewide on safety, environment, curriculum, credentialing, and teaching style using a one-to-five star scale. First Things First, the state government initiative managing the Quality First initiative, is holding a series of information sessions across the state to educate parents and providers about the new program. Quality First aims to unify standards, improve quality, and help Arizona's parents evaluate their early care and education options. The rating system is the third phase of the Quality First initiative, which first assessed child care providers and then began working with them to improve quality through technical assistance and coaching in 2009. Beginning in summer 2012, parents will be able to access an online system to view providers' ratings, which they can use to make choices about their children's care.
Read the full state policy update now!
Publications & Resources
Early Head Start Home-Based Model Resources
The Office of Head Start recently launched a website with information on the Early Head Start (EHS) Home-Based Model, which is one of eight evidence-based home visiting models selected for the Affordable Care Act Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program. The website includes an overview of the EHS Home-Based Model, a video entitled Head Start Beginning at Home, and resources for implementing the model.
Paper on Understanding the Debt Limit
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) released a new policy paper, Understanding the Debt Limit, that looks at the history of the debt limit and how past Presidents and Congresses have wrestled with raising it for decades.
New Report on the State of America's Children
A new report from the Children's Defense Fund (CDF), The State of America's Children 2011, finds that children have fallen further behind in many of the leading indicators over the past year. The report is a compilation and analysis of the most recent and reliable national and state-by-state data on population, poverty, family structure, family income, health, nutrition, early childhood development, education, child welfare, juvenile justice, and gun violence.