Happy Holidays from the ZERO TO THREE Policy Network! This will be our last edition of The Baby Monitor for 2011. We're taking a holiday break and will send you our first 2012 edition on Monday, January 9th.
Celebrating Infant-Toddler Policy Achievements of 2011!
Throughout 2011, ZERO TO THREE worked to keep you informed of important and innovative policy developments happening throughout the country. This past year presented many impressive policy advancements at both the national and state level. Despite the tight budgets in Washington, DC and state capitals, we all successfully worked together to advance and preserve policies that improve the lives of infants, toddlers, and families.
One recent highlight came last Friday, when the winners of the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) grant were announced. Nine states- California, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island and Washington- were selected to receive a four-year grant from the $500 million RTT-ELC fund.
Read the article to learn more about this and other notable policy achievements of 2011.
Federal Policy Update
Babies and the Budget, FY 2012
Babies in Early Head Start (EHS) can sleep more soundly at naptime as the Congress has reached agreement on Fiscal Year 2012 spending that will sustain the expansion of EHS and Head Start that began with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Final passage came on Saturday, averting a government shutdown. Overall, early care and learning was clearly a priority in the portion of the omnibus bill that funds the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, a tribute to the field's advocacy. The Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) received a $60 million increase, with a small bump up to $107 million for the infant-toddler set-aside, and Part C/Early Intervention received a small increase of $5 million. To see a snapshot of how infants and toddlers fare in the rest of the bill, read our Federal Policy Baby Blog.
Community Policy Update
Ohio Creates Early Education and Development Officer Position
To coordinate state efforts to improve children's readiness for school, Ohio Governor John Kasich created an Early Education and Development Officer position within the Governor's Office of 21st Century Education. The officer will oversee the development and implementation of a comprehensive kindergarten readiness assessment process that will include academic, social and emotional, and physical health measures of readiness. In addition, he/she will lead a variety of initiatives to improve overall system performance, such as including outcome and performance measures in the statewide quality rating and improvement system and engaging parents in policy development. An Early Education and Development Innovation Committee is also being established to support the systems work. The committee will advise the governor and the officer on methods to mobilize business partnerships; opportunities to bring private-sector tools and resources to early education and development; and methods to disseminate information to community and state leaders. Both the officer and the committee are expected to be in place by spring 2012. They will play a pivotal role in implementing Ohio's Early Learning Challenge grant.
Read the full community policy update now!
Publications & Resources
Two Generations in Poverty: Status and Trends among Parents and Children in the U.S.
This brief from Child Trends examines recent poverty data and trends over the past decade and presents a two-generation lens on the poverty and low-income status of children and families in 2010, and on trends in poverty and low-income status among children and families during the first decade of the 21st century.
Latest Child Maltreatment Report Shows Decrease in Victims of Child Abuse and Neglect
The Administration for Children and Families released its latest annual report on child abuse and neglect this week. "Child Maltreatment 2010" shows a steady decline in the number of victims who suffered maltreatment for the fourth consecutive year. As in past years, rates of abuse and neglect are highest among infants and young children. Read the full report here.
Improving Coverage for Children Under Health Reform Will Require Maintaining Current Eligibility Standards For Medicaid And CHIP
When the Affordable Care Act of 2010 is fully implemented, it will extend health insurance coverage to many adult Americans who currently lack it. The December 2011 issue of Health Affairs analyzes the impact of this legislation on uninsured children and their parents. this online chartbook is based on data from the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH). Indicators here report on the health and well-being of children, as well as the factors in the family environment and aspects of the neighborhood that may support or undermine the health of children and their families.