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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.

National Baby Facts

The Baby Monitor

February 20, 2013

National Baby Facts

There are more than 12 million infants and toddlers in the United States, many spending their most vulnerable years in circumstances that place them at risk developmentally. Many fall behind their peers even before they enter a prekindergarten classroom. National Baby Facts, ZERO TO THREE’s recent release, tells the story of how these youngest children in the United States are faring. National Baby Facts gives you the facts on the invaluable supports and services—whether it’s adequate health care, ample food, housing security, or positive early learning opportunities—that play a crucial role in nurturing a young child’s development and helping all children realize their potential. This resource is available on the ZERO TO THREE website at www.zerotothree.org/nationalbabyfacts.

Many of the beneficial programs and services highlighted in National Baby Facts are at risk of being cut by the across-the-board budget cuts known as the sequester. With the deadline for sequestration coming up on March 1st, this month’s advocacy challenge is to take action against the cuts! Download the March Advocacy Developmental Milestone calendar for more details.

Federal Policy Update

Once Unthinkable, Automatic Cuts Mean Real Pain for Children and Families

As we slide toward yet another fiscal cliff, the pain of $85 billion in across-the-board cuts will affect many vulnerable children and families. Once considered unthinkable, these cuts to domestic and defense discretionary programs seem destined to take effect March 1st. If they are not averted, children and families who look to federal programs to support early development could go without essential services: 70,000 could lose Head Start/Early Head Start; 30,000 could lose child care; and 600,000 could lose WIC nutritional benefits. Infant-toddler advocates need to let policymakers know that if these cuts are allowed to take effect, the hurt they cause will take a long time to heal. Read more in the Baby Policy Blog and watch your e-mail for an action alert.

Community Policy Update

ZERO TO THREE Western Office Develops Prenatal to Three Workforce Core Competencies for Los Angeles County

Los Angeles (LA) County is supporting the infant-toddler workforce with new cross-discipline core competencies, Core Competencies for the Prenatal Through Age Three Workforce (Competencies). The Competencies identify the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed by professionals across the early care and education, early intervention, social service/child welfare, physical health, and mental health service sectors who are working with expectant parents, infants, toddlers, and their families. They were developed by a workgroup comprised of leaders, community partners, and family representatives. The Competencies are not meant to replace discipline-specific competencies, but provide a common language and foundation to support cross-sector collaboration and professional development. The Competencies are the result of a five-year project funded by First 5 LA and facilitated by the ZERO TO THREE Western Office. Efforts are currently underway to embed the Competencies in professional development opportunities. Read the full community policy update now

Publications & Resources

Evaluation of Maternal and Child Home Visitation Programs
PolicyLab at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute released a new Evidence to Action brief entitled Evaluation of Maternal and Child Home Visitation Programs: Lessons from Pennsylvania. The brief, which is part of PolicyLab's ongoing work in maternal and child home visitation program evaluation, draws on lessons learned through PolicyLab's evaluation of the Pennsylvania Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP).

Twelve Studies on Home Visiting
The Pew Home Visiting Campaign recently released 12 studies highlighting the societal benefits of home visiting programs. The reports underscore the need for continued evaluation and monitoring of home visiting services in order to maximize effectiveness. Read the reports and executive summaries here.

Pledge to Support the President’s Early Learning Initiative
Last week President Obama proposed an Early Learning Initiative, which recognized the value of expanding access to learning opportunities for children beginning at birth. Take the National Women’s Law Center’s pledge to take part in the President's Early Learning Initiative to put children and families on a path to success. Click here to sign on.

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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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1255 23rd Street, NW, Suite 350, Washington, DC 20037 | Phone: (202) 638-1144 | Fax: (202) 638-0851

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