New from ZERO TO THREE: Home Visiting Community
The ZERO TO THREE Policy Center's new Home
Visiting Community Planning Tool guides communities through the
process of creating new or expanding existing home visiting services that
meet their unique needs. It helps communities use data to identify their
strengths, needs, and gaps in current home visiting services; choose an
evidence-based program model; and align work at the local level with
state efforts. Though this tool is relevant to any situation in which
home visiting services are being explored, it is especially useful for
communities receiving funding through the federal Maternal, Infant, and
Early Childhood Home Visiting program.
This resource was made possible though a generous grant from the
Birth to Five Policy Alliance. It is now available as a fillable form at www.zerotothree.org/hvcommplantool.
Federal Policy Update
As we move into June, realization is dawning in Washington that the
summer could be hotter than usual if negotiations over raising the debt
ceiling aren't successful. Early August is the deadline for increasing
the government's ability to borrow. Talks are proceeding slowly about
making spending cuts in exchange for votes to raise the borrowing limit.
The fact that defaulting on our debt is even being contemplated is
uncharted territory for everyone.
To find our way as deficit reduction talk swirls around Washington,
infant-toddler advocates must learn a new language and think about
protecting the interests of young children in different ways. Where we
normally focus on key programs that promote healthy development, now we
must learn the meaning and implications of terms such as "debt
ceiling," "global spending caps," and "entitlement
All this week, the Federal
Policy Baby Blog will post information on different aspects of the
debate to help guide us through this strange new budget world. We will
try to demystify these terms and show how they may hold the key to our
future ability to help at-risk children fulfill their potential. Today's
blog post tries to answer the question "why is raising the debt
ceiling important for babies, anyway?" Be sure to check back each
day to learn about where federal spending goes, how spending cuts might
become automatic, a new take on entitlement and welfare reform, and the
no-man's land of increasing revenues.
Our latest budget
policy video is a good place to get started. Then read
about how our country's need to finance its debt could be used to
leverage big changes in services for vulnerable Americans.
State Policy Update
Funding for Home Visiting Protected in
Thousands of at-risk families in New York will continue to receive home
visiting services in fiscal year 2012 because of the success of early
childhood advocates during state budget negotiations. Healthy Families
New York (HFNY), the only state-funded home visiting program, was
originally slated to lose all $23 million of its funding. The program
serves over 5,000 families a year in New York's highest-need communities.
It has a proven track record of better outcomes for children, including
lower rates of child abuse and low birth weight births among
participants. Advocates educated policymakers and the public about the
benefits of HFNY, as well as the fact that eliminating state funding
would disqualify New York
from applying for millions in federal aid for home visiting through the
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Success was achieved in late
March when Governor Cuomo signed the final FY2012 budget, which included
full funding for HFNY.
the full state policy update now!
Publications & Resources
Additional Home Visiting
Funding Opportunities from HHS
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that up
to $99 million in additional competitive grants would be available to
states to enhance existing Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home
Visitation Programs through the Affordable Care Act. Two categories of
competitive grants are available to states: "expansion grants"
that will recognize states and jurisdictions that have already made
significant progress toward a high-quality home visiting program or that
have embedded their home visiting program into an early childhood system,
and "development grants," which will be available to states and
jurisdictions that want to build on existing efforts. Applications will
be due on July 1, 2011. Read more about the grants here.
Paper on Part C Eligibility for Infants and
Toddlers Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
A new document from the National Center for Hearing Assessment and
Management (NCHAM) and the IDEA Infant and Toddler Coordinators
Association (ITCA), Part
C Eligibility Considerations for Infants and Toddlers who are Deaf or
Hard of Hearing, provides information intended to assist people
responsible for state Part C systems in making informed evidence-based
decisions as they develop or review eligibility criteria; determining the
appropriate personnel to participate in eligibility determination and the
development of an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) to address
service needs; and providing resource information to families of children
who do not meet the eligibility criteria.
New Resources for States Planning for the Early
Learning Challenge Competition
The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) compiled a collection
of resources for states planning in advance for the Race to the Top
Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) grant competition, which will provide
$500 million to increase the quality of early childhood programs and
increase the number and percentage of low-income and disadvantaged
children, birth to five, in high-quality programs. The application will
be released later this summer with grants awarded to states no later than
December 31, 2011.
Paper on Child Care Licensing
Licensing: The Foundation For a Quality Early Care and Education System -
Preliminary Principles and Suggestions to Strengthen Requirements and
Enforcement for Licensed Child Care, a research-based paper from The
National Association for Regulatory Administration, describes licensed
care and the children it serves throughout the country, delves into the
issues and challenges associated with improving licensing programs, and
provides policy analysis and strategies, along with principles for
strengthening licensing. Expanded appendices and tables provide examples
from specific states.