February 4, 2013
Celebrating 20 Years of FMLA
For the past two decades, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has made a significant difference in the lives of babies and their families. As the law relates to young children, FMLA allows U.S. workers to take time off from their jobs to care for their children– whether that's to bond with a newborn baby or newly adopted child, or to attend to the needs of a sick child. This week marks the FMLA’s 20th anniversary, which kicks off with a celebration on Capitol Hill today. Join us as we celebrate 20 years of FMLA:
♦ On Wednesday, February 6th, ZERO TO THREE and the American Institutes for Research (AIR) will host a panel discussion to take a look at FMLA’s impact on workers and ways to improve paid leave policies moving forward. The panel will feature AIR Principal Researcher Susan Muenchow and economist Christopher J. Ruhm, co-authors with developmental psychologist Edward Zigler of the book Time Off With Baby: The Case for Paid Leave. Matthew Melmed, Executive Director of ZERO TO THREE, will also be a part of the panel discussion.
♦ The Department of Labor released the results of two surveys on the FMLA, which provide insight into employer and employee experiences with the law. Register now to attend the Center for Law and Social Policy’s audio conference on Thursday, February 7th at 1:30 pm ET, as they discuss the implications of these results for advocates, policymakers, and researchers.
♦ The National Partnership for Women & Families is launching a call to action for improved work-family policies. They are seeking stories about times when FMLA allowed individuals to take time off from work– as well as times when workers were not able to use FMLA and why. This month’s advocacy challenge is to join the movement by submitting YOUR personal FMLA story. Download the February Advocacy Developmental Milestone calendar for more details how. After you have shared your FMLA story, take a moment to sign the National Partnership's petition in support of paid leave.
Stay tuned for more FMLA focused events and activities in the months to come.
Federal Policy Update
Family and Medical Leave Act at Twenty
Twenty years ago this week, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) ensured that American workers could place their families first without fear of losing their jobs. February 5, 1993, when President Bill Clinton signed his first piece of legislation into law, was a single though crucial point in a long process. The path to enactment was actually a roller coaster, with a host of families, advocates, and dedicated lawmakers along for the ride. Looking back, the fact that FMLA has been invoked more than 100 million times is a cause for pride and some astonishment. Families and employers say this is a policy that works. Reflecting on how people from different vantage points came together to make family policy such a big thing may hold lessons for today’s advocates. Today’s Baby Policy Blog features a personal recollection of the effort led by then-Senator Christopher J. Dodd (D-CT) to pass landmark legislation for children and families. Read more now.
State Policy Update
Maternal Depression Screening and Response Embedded in Ohio’s Help Me Grow Home Visiting Program
Beginning in 2012, maternal depression screening is a required component of Ohio’s Help Me Grow home visiting program. Help Me Grow is the state’s Part C early intervention and home visiting program for expectant, first-time, and other parents at highest risk. Mothers in the program are screened using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. Those screening positive are referred to community mental health providers for In-Home Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. Findings from research studies conducted in Ohio and other states using similar approaches to home visiting with embedded mental health services are providing a growing evidence-base for such systematic, cross-sector work. Read the full state policy update now.
Publications & Resources
Call for Proposals for the 2013 NTI
ZERO TO THREE is pleased to announce that the 28th National Training Institute (NTI) will be held December 11-14, 2013, in San Antonio, Texas. The conference is now accepting proposals for presentations. The submission deadline for proposals is March 8th. NTI is ZERO TO THREE's annual multi-disciplinary training event that focuses on cutting-edge child development research, best practices, and policy issues for infants, toddlers, and families. Click here for more information and to learn how to submit your proposal.
Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness
According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), workers eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) can receive up to $5,891 or more by claiming the credit on their 2012 Federal tax returns. The EITC provides a boost to working people and local economies. However, many eligible workers don’t claim it. January 25th was the official Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day, but we can continue spreading the word to make sure those who are eligible claim the credit. Learn more about EITC here.
Facts About Low-Income Children 0-3
The National Center for Children in Poverty released a new fact sheet entitled Basic Facts About Low-Income Children: Children Under 3 Years, 2011. Using data from the American Community Survey (ACS), this fact sheet describes the demographic, socio-economic, and geographic characteristics of children under the age of 3 and their parents. It highlights important factors that appear to distinguish low-income and poor children from their less disadvantaged counterparts.
TANF Child-Only Cases
A new report from Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago provides recommendations for policymakers to improve TANF aid to child-only cases. It emphasizes that policy changes to TANF must address child-only cases, paying explicit attention to each of the three child-only caseloads and adult-aided cases. The report describes child-only policies and explores how these policies create and shape three distinct child-only caseloads; provides information about the needs of the children and adults in the households that receive child-only aid; and situates child-only TANF policy in the context of other relevant policies. Download the report here.