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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.

Expanding Access to Early Head Start

The Baby Monitor

October 1, 2012

Expanding Access to Early Head Start

In a new joint report entitled Expanding Access to Early Head Start: State Initiatives for Infants and Toddlers at Risk, ZERO TO THREE and CLASP draw on newly conducted research on state efforts to expand and enhance access to Early Head Start (EHS) services for infants, toddlers, and their families. This report describes the diverse strategies states are using to build upon EHS and offers recommendations for states interested in expanding this proven program. The report builds on Building on the Promise: State Initiatives to Expand Access to Early Head Start for Young Children and their Families, a paper released by ZERO TO THREE and CLASP in 2008. Read the new report now.

Download October's Advocacy Developmental Milestone Calendar

In honor of Head Start Awareness Month, the ZERO TO THREE Policy Network invites you to raise awareness about EHS. Let’s show policymakers what EHS is doing to help your community. Your advocacy challenge this month is to host a site visit for policymakers at your local EHS Center and get the people making big decisions about babies to pay attention! Download October’s Advocacy Developmental Milestone Calendar now.

Federal Policy Update

Babies and the Ballot Box: Inserting Young Children into the Debate

The first Presidential debate is this Wednesday. The news media can’t stop talking about the campaign and the candidates’ positions on major issues. But something is missing. In these conversations, even those about education, very few people are talking about families, babies, and their early care and learning experiences. Issues affecting young children don’t always rise to the level of a national debate. Here are some reasons they should. Each year, over 4 million babies are born in the U.S. This isn’t going to change, no matter what jobs plan is adopted or how deficit reduction is achieved. The real question is what quality of life we will be able to offer them—and that is worthy of policymakers’ attention.

Maybe if policymakers/candidates saw children’s issues not as kids’ stuff, but as national competitiveness issues, they would get more attention. Perhaps they need to hear that these issues matter from a Big Voice for Little Kids™. Read the Baby Policy Blog for things that you can do to make a difference during this election cycle. Then, scroll down and read last week’s blog post on Why Hugging Your Baby is Good for the Economy.

State Policy Update

New Hampshire Promotes Head Start/Early Head Start and Child Care Partnerships

In August 2011, the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Head Start Directors Association to better promote Head Start/EHS and child care wrap-around services for children receiving child care subsidies. The original process, which was established in 2001, was expanded to enable licensed child care providers to bill the DCYF Child Development Bureau directly for the non-Head Start/EHS part of the day. Compensation is based on the number of hours a child attends Head Start/EHS and child care combined for the week, and may include full time subsidy payment to a child care provider. EHS programs and child care providers interested in participating must sign a MOA that outlines how billing requirements will be met and describes how other areas of collaboration will occur, such as joint staff training or shared transportation. Since the new policy went into effect, six partnership MOAs have been submitted. Two of New Hampshire’s five grantees offer their own child care wrap-around services for which no agreement is necessary. Read more about how states are building on EHS here.

Publications & Resources

Birth to Three Institute Going Virtual
The Early Head Start National Resource Center will not be holding the in-person Birth To Three Institute in 2013.  Instead, it will be held as a “virtual” Birth to Three (vBTT), consisting of a series of online professional development opportunities.  These online events will be free and accessible to anyone with a computer and internet access. Click here for more information.

New Brief Highlights Short-Term Returns to Early Childhood Programs
A new brief from ReadyNation, Savings Now, Savings Later: Smart Early Childhood Programs Pay Off Right Away and for the Long Term, highlights the immediate and short-term returns of investing in early childhood programs.

Join Step Up For Kids in Your State
Step Up For Kids, a national advocacy effort led by Every Child Matters (ECM), brings child advocates, parents, and children together to raise awareness about the challenges American children face and the importance of government investment in children. These non-partisan events—ranging from rallies to candidate forums—are taking place in locations across the U.S. Click here to find the ECM contact for your state and to learn how you can get involved.

Analysis of RTT-ELC Applications' Data Section
The Early Childhood Data Collaborative (ECDC) has released a new report entitled Developing Coordinated Longitudinal Early Childhood Data Systems: Trends and Opportunities in Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Applications. The report is based on an analysis of state Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge applications, specifically the data section, and identifies key trends among states in regards to their development and use of data systems.

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ZERO TO THREE · National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families
1255 23rd Street, NW, Suite 350 · Washington, DC 20037 · www.zerotothree.org

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