Glossary of Policy & Advocacy Terms: A Guide to the ABCs and Acronyms of the Infant-Toddler Policy Process
Do you ever come across unfamiliar terms or acronyms in your advocacy work? The policy world is filled with jargon that can be confusing to lifelong advocates and new voices for little kids alike, which is why we created a tool to help advocates decipher these terms and acronyms. This interactive glossary allows you to quickly and easily find descriptions and definitions of infant-toddler programs and policies, commonly used federal and state legislative terms, and useful advocacy terms and techniques so that you can be an effective advocate for babies.
Download the glossary now!
Federal Policy Update
The Congress passed and the President signed the Budget Control Act (BCA), which laid out the deficit reduction agreement, thus preventing the U.S. from defaulting on its debt. However, this plan places important infant-toddler programs in jeopardy for cuts at every step of the way. Potential cuts to programs with discretionary fundingsuch as Early Head Start, child care, and Part Cwould mean decreased access to early care and education, early intervention, and special nutrition services, as well as reduced access to adequate housing and energy support. Medicaid and other low-income programs are vulnerable to cuts at some points in the process as well.
The BCA sets up a multi-step process to achieve the savings included in the law as the price for raising the debt ceiling. At this stage, it is impossible to say with certainty how individual programs important to infants and toddlers will fare, but we can sort out which programs are most at risk and when. To do so, it is important to understand the way programs are funded as well as the process by which deficit reduction savings will unfold. To learn more, please visit our Federal Policy Baby Blog.
Over the next few weeks, while your Representatives and Senators are at home during the August recess, infant-toddler advocates should focus on educating Members of Congress about the important role these and other programs play in promoting healthy development in young children, and the long-term harm to children and our economic competitiveness if this development is jeopardized.
State Policy Update
Michigan Governor Establishes Office of Great Start
On June 29, Michigan's governor signed an executive order creating the Michigan Office of Great Start within the state Department of Education. The purpose of the new office is to create a coherent health and early learning system that aligns, integrates, and coordinates Michigan's early childhood investments from prenatal to third grade. The Office of Child Development and Care and the Head Start State Collaboration Office, both currently located in the Department of Human Services, and the Office of Early Childhood Education and Family Services, currently in the Department of Education, will come together to form the Office of Great Start. In addition, the executive order requires that the Department of Community Health, which oversees home visiting, WIC, and maternal and child health programs, coordinate with the Office of Great Start on administration of programs and services that affect early childhood development. The new office is also tasked with adopting a single set of early childhood outcomes and measuring performance against them.
Read the full state policy update now!
Publications & Resources
Webinar on Understanding the Deficit Deal this Thursday
The Coalition on Human Needs (CHN) is hosting a webinar on Thursday, August 18 at 1:00 EST to explain how the deficit deal works - or might not work - and what you can do about it, in this wonk-free webinar, which will also include an opportunity to get your questions answered. Click here for more information and to register.
Guide to Building Cross-Sector Professional Development Systems in Early Childhood
The National Professional Development Center on Inclusion (NPDCI) released a new edition of The Big Picture Planning Guide: Building Cross-Sector Professional Development Systems in Early Childhood, a guide developed to support a cross-sector, state-level planning process that leads to a single, integrated, professional development system across all early childhood sectors.
AMCHP National Conference Accepting Proposals
The 2012 Annual Conference of the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) will take place February 11-14, 2012, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC. The conference theme is Improving Maternal and Child Health Across the Life Span: Acting Today for Healthy Tomorrows, and is an opportunity to present ideas, research, innovative programming, best practices and effective outreach strategies to MCH and other public health practitioners, directors of state programs, family leaders, researchers, federal officials, advocates, and healthcare providers. The deadline for submissions is Monday, August 22, 2011. Click here for more information.