New from ZERO TO THREE: Fact Sheet on Infants and Toddlers in Poverty
One of the most consistent associations in the science of early childhood development is between economic hardship and compromised child development. We know that poverty can compromise every aspect of a child's development, leading to short- and long-term effects on health, achievement in school, and success in life. But what do we actually mean when we talk about poverty? And what exactly are the effects of poverty on infants and toddlers? Poverty Fact Sheet: Implications for Infants and Toddlers, new from the ZERO TO THREE Policy Center, provides an overview of poverty as it pertains to the healthy development of infants and toddlers.
Download July's Advocacy Developmental Milestone Calendar
Independence Day is around the corner, and what better way to honor America’s birthday than to celebrate the democratic values upon which this country was founded! Your advocacy challenge this month is to engage in the democratic process in your local community—Politicians are elected to serve their constituents, and it is your responsibility as providers and parents to educate local officials about the needs of their communities’ youngest constituents. Be a Big Voice for Little Kids™ at the local level! Download July's Advocacy Developmental Milestone Calendar Now!
Federal Policy Update
Appropriations Cuts Target Babies in the Shadow of Deficit Reduction Talks
The appropriations season is underway, at least in the House of Representatives, and one of the very first bills included cuts to a major program for infants and toddlers. Last week, the House cut $686 million from the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) nutrition program as it approved an agriculture spending bill. The cuts would have been even larger without an amendment sponsored by Congressional Baby Caucus Co-Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) that restored $147 million to the program. Even so, these cuts will cause tens of thousands of women, infants, and children to lose their WIC benefits. Proponents of the cuts argue that contingency funds would be available if demand for services increases.
The appropriations bills are being considered in the shadow of intensifying negotiations over the massive budget cuts needed to gain consensus over raising the debt ceiling. Vice President Joe Biden, who is leading the talks, says they are down to the really tough issues, such as savings from entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid. Revenue increases are still beyond the pale for some Members, but a Senate vote last week to eliminate biofuel subsidies may be a sign that this opposition could be thawing. What will entitlement cuts look like? What's likely to be left on the table when final spending cuts are made? Read today's post in the Federal Policy Baby Blog to examine these issues and look back at some of the reform proposals put forth in the House last spring.
State Policy Update
Connecticut Is First State to Mandate Paid Sick Leave
On June 8, Connecticut became the first state to pass paid sick leave legislation. The law, which goes into effect on January 1, 2012, requires businesses with 50 or more employees to provide certain workers with one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. To accrue the benefit, employees must be classified as "service workers" (defined in the bill as employees working in one of 68 occupations, including cashiers, child care workers, and waiters, who receive an hourly wage) and must have worked at least ten hours per week during the previous quarter. Leave can be taken if the worker is ill or injured, or for the worker to care for a child or spouse. Employers that already offer paid time off will not be affected by the new law, and manufacturers and some nonprofits will be exempt. Approximately 400,000 Connecticut employees - mostly low-wage earners working in food service, retail, and health care - currently lack paid sick days. The state's new law will make it possible for many of them to stay home when they or their family members are ill without fear of losing their jobs.
Read the full state policy update now!
Mark your Calendar and Save the Dates!
ZERO TO THREE'S 26th National Training Institute (NTI)
Connecting Science, Policy and Practice
December 9-11, 2011 (Pre-Institute December 8th)
Gaylord Resort & Convention Center
Don't miss this opportunity to hear from experts in the infant-family field on the latest research, best-practices, and policies for infants and toddlers while you enjoy all that our Nations' Capital has to offer. Registration opens late summer. Visit www.zttnticonference.org or call
1-877-215-1023 for more information.
Publications & Resources
Video of U.S. Senate Subcommittee Hearing on Quality Early Education and Care
On Thursday, June 9, 2011, the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Children and Families held a hearing entitled Getting the Most Bang for the Buck: Quality Early Education and Care. Witnesses discussed the importance of having a comprehensive early education and care program in the nation. Click here to watch a video of the hearing.
New Report on Systems of Support for Young Children's Mental Health
A new report from The National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) describes key strategies for creating a comprehensive system of supports for young children's mental health and provides examples from states using these strategies. It also includes a tool that state planners can use to assess progress and plan steps toward building a strong system of early childhood mental health supports.
Brief on Federal Programs Protecting Children's Health
Research has shown that children who suffer from poor nutrition, unstable housing and inadequate home heating have a greater likelihood of poor health, a higher risk of developmental delays, and in some cases, an increased risk of hospitalization. This brief from Children's Health Watch, Federal Programs Protecting Children's Health, highlights the federal programs, including SNAP, WIC, LIHEAP and subsidized housing, that help protect brain and body growth in very young children.
New Resource on Monitoring and Technical Assistance
The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) released a new resource on expanding monitoring and technical assistance in infant/toddler child care settings. The resource is part of the Charting Progress for Babies in Child Care project, an ongoing effort by CLASP to link research to policy ideas to help states make the best decisions for infants and toddlers in child care. In this latest resource, CLASP presents research to "make the case" to expand monitoring and technical assistance; ideas for how state child care licensing, subsidy, and quality enhancement policies can move toward this recommendation; and online resources for state policymakers.