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Little Kids, Big Questions
is a series of 12 podcasts that translates the research of early childhood development into parenting practices that mothers, fathers and other caregivers can tailor to the needs of their own child and family. Click here to listen to or download the podcasts. This podcast series is generously funded by MetLife Foundation.

Connect with Safe Babies Court Teams

The Baby Monitor

May 14, 2012

Connect with Safe Babies Court Teams

The Safe Babies Court Teams Project works with local judges, child welfare agencies, and community organizations to create multidisciplinary teams that provide communities with services and resources that support abused and neglected babies, encourage evidence-based decision-making, and create systemic changes that address gaps in services. Two external evaluations of the Safe Babies Court Teams Project have been completed to date, and the findings suggested that the Court Teams approach promotes better long-term developmental outcomes for maltreated infants and toddlers. The project currently has nine active sites. Check here to find out if there is a Court Team near you and how you or your organization can contribute.

The Safe Babies Court Teams Project recently released a series of videos, which have been showing at sites across the nation. The next premieres will be held:

  • May 17 from 10 am-12:30 pm in the Blue Flame Room at 400 East Capitol Street, Little Rock, AR
  • May 21 from 10 am-12 pm at the Petal Parenting Center in Petal, MS

To learn more about the video series and to order the DVD, click here.

Federal Policy Update
Once Again, What It Means When Babies Must Share the Burden

On Thursday, the House of Representatives voted to slash several entitlement programs important to low-income families and individuals. The Sequester Replacement and Reconciliation Act of 2012 (H.R. 5652) also shredded last year’s agreement on discretionary spending levels for domestic and defense programs, cutting spending for FY 2013 by an additional $19 billion. The bill shifts deficit reduction more squarely onto the shoulders of those Americans—including young children—for whom shared sacrifice means going without food or medical care.

To review the cuts: The bill would cut $309 billion over 10 years from mandatory funding, with $128 billion (42%) of those savings coming from programs such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP), Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Child Tax Credit, and the elimination of the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG). Once again, we are left to ponder what it means when babies shoulder the burden of deficit reduction. And sadly, since we’ve been here before, we know the answers: More babies will be born too soon and too small.  More will go hungry.  Fewer will have stable, caring families.  And fewer will be ready for school.  To learn more about how The Sequester Replacement and Reconciliation Act of 2012 impacts vulnerable babies and young children, read the Federal Policy Baby Blog.

State Policy Update
Maryland Passes Home Visiting Legislation

New legislation in Maryland ensures that state funds for home visiting services will be directed toward home visiting programs that have evidence of effectiveness. Beginning July 1, 2012, at least 75% of the state’s home visiting funds must be spent on evidence-based home visiting programs, and up to 25% can be spent on programs utilizing a promising approach. “Evidence-based” and “promising approach” are defined in the legislation as meeting the criteria set out by the federal Department of Health and Human Services for the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program. The law also puts new accountability measures in place. Programs receiving state funds will be required to submit regular reports describing how funds were spent, the number and demographic characteristics of individuals served, and the outcomes achieved by the home visiting program. The Governor’s Office for Children and the agencies of the Children’s Cabinet are tasked with developing a standardized reporting mechanism and monitoring the effectiveness of state-funded home visiting programs. Read the full state policy update now.

Publications & Resources

Register for Child Welfare Webinar
The ZERO TO THREE Policy Center invites you to join us on Wednesday, May 30, at 2:00 pm Eastern Time for a webinar on infusing a developmental approach into child welfare services for infants, toddlers, and their families. The webinar will highlight the release of our forthcoming assessment tool for states entitled A Developmental Approach to Child Welfare Services for Infants, Toddlers, and Their Families: A Self-Assessment Tool for States and Counties Administering Child Welfare Services. Click here to register now.

New Factsheets on CCDBG
New factsheets from the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) provide a snapshot of the infants and toddlers who received child care assistance through the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) in 2010: CCDBG Participation in 2010 and Infants and Toddlers in CCDBG: 2010 Update.

Campaign to Put Child Care on the Map
Join the National Women's Law Center as they kick off a new national initiative to make sure Members of Congress hear about child care while they’re in their state and district offices. The campaign begins with a conference call on Thursday, May 17, at 2:00 pm Eastern Time. Click here to register for the call and join the campaign.

Report on Preconception Health
A new report from the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP), Preconception Health and Health Care and Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems: Opportunities for Collaboration, discusses the impact of women’s preconception health and health care on children's birth outcomes, development, and later life well-being. Read the report here.

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