August 19, 2013
Do You Know Your State's Baby Facts?
When infants and toddlers get a strong start, our nation prospers. The ZERO TO THREE Policy Center recently updated our State Baby Fact Sheets, which tell the story about very young children in each state. These fact sheets present infant and toddler data in the framework of good health, strong families, and positive early learning experiences.
Here are a few examples of ways that you can use State Baby Facts to impact infant-toddler policy in your state:
- Contact your state and/or local media contacts and share your state’s fact sheet with them as background for writing a story about the needs of very young children in your state/community.
- Visit with your Members of Congress while they are home on recess and provide them with the state fact sheet as a resource for policy development. (Click here to find your elected officials.)
- Email your state legislators with the link to your state’s fact sheet as a way of starting the conversation about infant-toddler policy issues.
- Send your state’s baby fact sheet to your state and federal policymakers via Twitter. Tweet a fact from your state’s fact sheet using your state or federal policymaker’s Twitter handle. Use the sample Tweets below and fill in your state information:
[Insert the % from your state fact sheet] of babies in [insert state name or abbreviation] are born to mothers receiving prenatal care bit.ly/Inj5Ug #statebabyfacts
[Insert the % from your state fact sheet] of children entering foster care in [insert state name or abbreviation] are under 3 bit.ly/Inj5Ug #statebabyfacts
Download the State Baby Facts for your state now: www.zerotothree.org/policy/statebabyfacts
Federal Policy Update
The Cost of Child Care for Parents – and their Young Children
In a New York Times opinion piece yesterday, "Crushed by the Cost of Child Care," Alissa Quart points out that families from all walks of life face challenges in finding and then affording care for their young children in order to work. But there is another aspect to child care we need to be aware of: its role in early brain development. While the piece muses over what to call the care children receive while their parents' work, the fact is that babies’ brains don’t know what we adults label these arrangements. Young children are learning all the time, from whatever experiences happen to come their way. Regardless of whether we call it babysitting or early childhood education, child care is the context in which a great deal of brain development unfolds. So while a system of readily available, high-quality child care would go a long way to support the workers of today who also are parents, it also would be fostering the important positive development of the workers of the future. Read more in the Baby Policy Blog.
State Policy Update
Bornlearning® Academies Expand In Kentucky
Bornlearning® Academies are helping Kentucky parents of children prenatal to five understand how to turn everyday experiences into learning opportunities. The Academies engage parents in hands-on activities and discussion about what it means to be ready for school, and offer strategies that can be used at home to maximize children’s early learning and development. The tools are easy, sometimes as simple as talking about the colors of trucks that pass by while dad and baby take a walk. The Academies are based at local elementary schools and provide an opportunity to create strong connections between home and school before children enter kindergarten. Toyota first provided funding to United Way of Kentucky to launch Academies at ten schools last fall. This summer, the company announced that it would increase funding to $1 million to establish them in 62 schools by the end of 2016. Read more.
Photo Caption Contest Winner
The results are in! The winning caption from the photo caption contest is:
"How America invests in its future is completely upside down."
Thanks to everyone who submitted an entry for the photo caption contest and to all who voted for the winner!
Publications & Resources
Early Intervention and Early Childhood Education
The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) released a report on research pertaining to early childhood education. The report describes findings supported by IES early intervention and childhood education research grants, as well as how to use these to better support improvements in early childhood education in the United States. Click here to read the report.
Children's Wellbeing Across Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration
The Foundation for Child Development released a report, Diverse Children: Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration in America's New Non-Majority Generation, comparing children's wellbeing across race-ethnicity groups and providing further breakdowns based on whether their parents are immigrants or U.S.-born. The report assesses wellbeing using a number of indicators including: poverty and near-poverty, secure employment, median family income, health insurance rates, pre-kindergarten enrollment rates, and educational outcomes.
National Indicators of Child Well-Being
The Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics released America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2013, which takes a look at key indicators along seven domains: family and social environment, economic circumstances, health care, physical environment and safety, behavior, education, and health.