May 29, 2012
New from ZERO TO THREE: Child Welfare Planning Tool
The ZERO TO THREE Policy Center has released a new tool entitled A Developmental Approach to Child Welfare Services for Infants, Toddlers, and Their Families: A Self-Assessment Tool for States and Counties Administering Child Welfare Services. Stemming from the collective vision of leading child welfare and early childhood development organizations, this tool covers the important steps that can and should be taken in policies, programs, and practices to address the needs of vulnerable infants and toddlers in the child welfare system. The tool is designed to help states and counties both prepare to meet new federal requirements and conduct ongoing assessment and quality improvement efforts by:
- Assessing how well their child welfare policies and practices address the developmental needs of infants and toddlers;
- Identifying where and how policies and practices can be improved; and
- Engaging partners in taking constructive action.
Download the new planning tool now. Please note that the tool should be printed on 11" x 17" paper. Printed versions will be available soon. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to request copies once they are available.
Download June’s Advocacy Developmental Milestone Calendar
Early childhood development can be a complicated subject for someone outside of the field to understand. That's why observing a program firsthand can be a real “a-ha!” moment for policymakers. This month's advocacy calendar challenge is to host a site visit for a Member of Congress that represents your program’s district. Download the June Advocacy Developmental MIlestone calendar for more details!
Federal Policy Update
Honoring Those Who Sacrifice for Our Country—Including Babies and Toddlers
Yesterday was Memorial Day, a time to honor those military service men and women who gave their lives for this country. It was also a time to acknowledge their families, to whom they were husbands and wives or fathers and mothers. We also pause to think about how we can support returning service members who are transitioning back into civilian life. A prominent characteristic of the men and women who have served in conflicts over the past decade is their youth—two-thirds are 30 or younger. Many also have young families or will be starting families in the near future.
As we think about how to support these families, as well as those with loved ones still deployed, it is important not to overlook their very young children. We need to understand how these children are affected by trauma, grief, and loss, as well as the stresses their caregivers feel during deployment or the reintegration of a service member who may have been wounded or experienced mental trauma. These needs suggest a broader focus for the Veterans Administration and greater outreach into communities to provide support for veterans and their families. For more information, read the most recent post in the Federal Policy Baby Blog.
State Policy Update
Evaluation of Indiana’s Quality Rating and Improvement System Shows Positive Outcomes
An evaluation conducted by Purdue University found that Indiana’s quality rating and improvement system, Paths to QUALITY (PTQ), is successfully meeting its objectives. Researchers used independent quality measures to validate PTQ, showing that each of the four levels in the system represent meaningful differences in child care quality. Level four providers are providing significantly higher quality care than those at level one, and incremental increases in quality are seen in most cases when assessing levels one, two, and three. The study also found that many providers participating in PTQ are advancing to higher levels. Of the providers included in the study, 25% at level one, 48% at level two, and 14% at level three increased to the next level within a six-month period. As of September 2011, less than three years after PTQ was fully funded statewide, 2,110 providers were enrolled, including 82% of all licensed child care centers, 52% of all licensed family child care homes, and 11% of all unlicensed registered child care ministries. Read the full state policy update now.
Publications & Resources
Quality in Family, Friend, and Neighbor Child Care Settings
The National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) has released a new report that examines current research on family, friend, and neighbor (FFN) care and addresses questions related to defining quality in FFN care.
New Reports on Early Learning Initiatives in the States
The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) has released two new reports that provide information on early learning initiatives that are being undertaken in the states: Confronting the Quiet Crisis: How Chief State School Officers Are Advancing Quality Early Childhood Opportunities and Educare: Re-Envisioning Education Beginning at Birth.
Review of Quality in Home-Based Child Care
This issue brief from the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) takes a look at quality in home-based child care. The brief's findings highlight the need to raise quality in home-based child care settings. OPRE offers recommendations, including the need to make the current professional development system more accessible to home-based providers.