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.
Imagine if millions of older adults used their voices to advocate on behalf of America's babies and toddlers. How would that impact future generations? Using Grandparents Day (September 8) as a call to action, our friends at Generations United are launching Do Something Grand, a full week (September 7-14) of intergenerational activism. Visit www.grandparentsday.org to download a copy of the Take Action Guide, which you can find along with other resources, ideas, and information on ways that you and your organization can get involved!
Race to the Top- Early Learning Challenge Resources from ZERO TO THREE
Want to learn how Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) grants can be used to address the unique needs of infants and toddlers? ZERO TO THREE has several resources that can help:
Early Learning Challenge Application has New Language on Social and Emotional Development
Last week, on August 28, the Administration released the final application for the second Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC). This second competition retains the overall purpose and structure of the previous RTT-ELC competition. The priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria are in large part identical to those listed in the FY 2011 applications. However, the Administration did include some language changes that were supported and, in some cases, recommended by ZERO TO THREE that help improve early learning experiences and support systems for infants and toddlers. Read the Baby Policy Blog to learn more.
State Policy Update
Massachusetts Invests in Early Childhood Mental Health
Massachusetts awarded $1.25 million in grant funds for the Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Services Program earlier this summer. The program offers supports to early care and education programs to help professionals better assess and support young children’s social-emotional development. The six agencies awarded grants will conduct classroom observations, environmental assessments, training, coaching, and mentoring with an estimated 1,000 licensed early care and education programs in 351 communities across the state. They will also connect young children and their families to community-based services to address any mental health needs or other problems identified. The Program is a joint effort of the Department of Early Education and Care and the Department of Mental Health. Learn more by reading a recent blog post from Strategies for Children, Inc.
Publications & Resources CLASP Report: Time to Do Better for Babies CLASP’s new report, Better for Babies: A Study of State Infant and Toddler Child Care Policies, presents data from a recent state survey of child care subsidy, licensing, and quality enhancement policies. It provides a national picture of infant-toddler child care and shows where state policy stands in relation to a set of key research-based policies on child care subsidy, licensing and quality improvement that support children’s healthy development.
Food Insecurity and Hunger in Early Childhood Children’s HealthWatch released two new research briefs addressing the impact of food insecurity and hunger in early childhood:
Too Hungry to Learn illustrates the strong connections between food security in early childhood and the development of skills crucial for school success including memory, emotional stability, and social skills.
Feeding Our Human Capital shows that food insecurity in early childhood makes it harder to gain the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the workforce and contribute to our nation's economic prosperity.
Provide Feedback on SAMHSA Framework The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) seeks feedback for its National Behavioral Health Quality Framework. The Framework is aligned with key components of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Strategy for Quality, supporting the three broad aims of better care, healthy people/healthy communities, and affordable care. Read the draft frame here and provide feedback here by September 17, 2013.
Affordable Care Act and Early Learning Webpage The Administration for Children & Families launched a new webpage to help early learning providers navigate the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace. Open enrollment in the Marketplace starts October 1, with coverage starting as soon as January 1, 2014. But families and small businesses, including early learning programs, can visit HealthCare.gov or CuidadoDeSalud.gov today to find the information they need to prepare for open enrollment.