July 23, 2012
Connecting with the Business Community to Advance Early Education
When it comes to early childhood development, the business community has much at stake—today’s infants and toddlers grow up to become tomorrow’s employees. Quality early childhood programs help build the foundation for a strong future workforce. Therefore, business leaders should consider investments in young children as an effective strategy to ensure the future economic strength of their communities and the nation as a whole.
Various organizations, including ZERO TO THREE, have produced resources which discuss ways that business leaders can partner with states, communities, and early childhood professionals to invest in and advocate for infants and toddlers. Use the resources below to help make the case for collaborating with businesses in your community.
• Unfinished Business: Continued Investments in Child Care and Early Education is Critical to Business and America’s Future (Committee for Economic Development)
• Partnering with the Business Community & Economists to Advance a Birth to Five Policy Agenda (ZERO TO THREE)
• A Proven Return on Investment: Economists and the Business Community Advance a Birth to Five Agenda (ZERO TO THREE)
Download the August Advocacy Developmental Milestone Calendar
It’s the beginning of August, which means Congress is on its longest recess of the year. Time to sit back and relax, right? Wrong! Congress works in their district over the summer, making this the perfect time for constituents to come in and meet with their members of Congress (or their district staff). This month’s advocacy calendar challenge is to plan a trip to your Congress members’ local District office to discuss infant-toddler policy issues. Download the August Advocacy Developmental Milestone calendar for more details.
Federal Policy Update
Spending on Children on Downward Slide
Funding decisions for programs important to young children crept forward last week as a House Appropriations Subcommittee approved FY 2013 spending for key programs for children and families. The measure, which covers programs in the Department of Health and Human Services as well as Education, provides $8.8 billion less than the Senate companion measure reported earlier this month. These deeper cuts were not applied across the board. On the one hand the bill would give modest increases to two early care and learning programs, while on the other it seeks to roll back health care reform and education innovation. Final decisions on FY 2013 funding levels are many months down the road.
Regardless of how final 2013 spending levels are resolved, the Urban Institute’s report, Kids’ Share 2012, shows federal investments in children on a downward trajectory. Actual spending dropped $2 billion from 2010 to 2011 and is expected to drop by another 4% in 2012. By 2022, the kids’ share of the federal budget pie will shrink by 20%, even as child poverty grows and the need increases. With Members of Congress home from August 3 through Labor Day to campaign, advocates need to let them know that investing in children’s development must be a priority in making budget decisions. Fiscal responsibility must not ignore the need to invest in future generations. Read more in the Baby Policy Blog.
State Policy Update
Georgia’s New QRIS Exceeds Expected Enrollment Numbers
Georgia launched its voluntary quality rating and improvement system in January 2012 with the expectation that 700 child care programs would begin participating in the first year. Less than eight months later, the state has already surpassed its goal. 733 child care programs are currently participating in Quality Rated, including 560 child care centers, 157 family day care home programs, and 16 group day care home programs. Quality Rated assesses child care providers in five areas: the ratio of adults to children and size of classes; staff qualifications; child health, nutrition, and physical safety; family partnerships; and learning practices. Assessments are based on a self-study and portfolio submitted by the provider and an on-site observation conducted by a Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) assessor. Participating providers are eligible for free professional development and technical assistance to support quality improvements. Providers’ ratings are not being published in the first year, but parents will be able to view them beginning in 2013 on the DECAL website. Read the full state policy update now.
Are there any new policies or initiatives that impact infants, toddlers and their families happening in your state or community? Please let us know– it could be featured in a future issue of The Baby Monitor. Email your State Policy Update ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publications & Resources
Time Off With Baby
New from ZERO TO THREE, Time Off With Baby: Making the Case for Paid Care Leave makes a compelling case for paid care leave in the U.S. by examining the impact of leave policies on babies, families, and society. Authors Edward Zigler, Susan Muenchow, and Christopher J. Ruhm analyze paid care leave in other countries, as well as propose a national leave policy for the U.S.
Putting Child Care on the Map
Child Care Aware of America (formerly NACCRRA) has released an interactive map that details child care licensing information in each of the 50 states. Selecting a state on the map pulls up a link to a fact sheet that includes state demographics and data related to child care, a link to the state's child care center licensing data, a link to the state's family child care home licensing data, and a brief state policymaker landscape. View the “In the States” map now.
How Affordable Care Act Benefits Women
In a new issue brief, the Commonwealth Fund examines the implications of limited health insurance coverage for women in the U.S. by comparing their experiences with women in 10 industrialized nations that provide universal health insurance. The analysis found that women in the U.S. are more likely to go without health care because of costs. The brief outlines ways the Affordable Care Act will expand and improve health insurance coverage, particularly for expectant and new mothers.
Study Shows Correlation Between Child Abuse and Home Foreclosures
PolicyLab at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has released a study showing a strong relationship between a region’s abuse-related hospital admissions and local mortgage foreclosure. Using a region’s rate of physical abuse hospital admissions and local mortgage foreclosures. This study highlights the need for state and local child welfare agencies to consider additional methods of tracking child abuse, including employing hospital data, to enable public systems to respond more effectively to the needs of children and families. Click here to read the study now.