New Professional Development Brief!
The ZERO TO THREE Policy Center announces the release of Toward a Bright Future for Our Youngest Children: Building a Strong Infant-Toddler Workforce, a policy brief focused on strengthening systems that support professional development for the multidisciplinary infant-toddler workforce. The paper summarizes related research and the policy context, and offers ten recommendations to ensure that policymakers invest in comprehensive, integrated professional development systems for those who work with infants, toddlers, and their families.
In conjunction with the release of this new policy brief, the ZERO TO THREE Policy Center will be hosting a webinar on March 31, 2011 at 2:00 pm EST that will highlight efforts to build professional development systems for those who work with infants and toddlers. Efforts to build professional development systems in Maine, New Mexico, and Los Angeles will be featured. Click here for more information on the webinar, including an agenda and registration instructions.
Share This New Video by Ron Lally, ZERO TO THREE Board Member!
Ron Lally, ZERO TO THREE Board Member and Co-Director of WestEd's Center for Child & Family Studies, recently released a three-minute advocacy video, Why America's Babies are Crying. The video outlines the proposed cuts to services for babies made by the U.S. House of Representatives and asks viewers to take action. Watch the video and then forward it to your Members of Congress. You can also visit the website www.invisibleneglect.org to find specific funding recommendations for programs serving babies in FY 2011 and FY 2012.
Federal Policy Update
Efforts in Congress to reach agreement on final spending for 2011 continue to drag on. Last week the Senate rejected both the long-term House continuing resolution (H.R. 1) and the Senate alternative that would have boosted funding for Head Start/Early Head Start and child care. Talks are ongoing to agree on a final spending bill for the rest of FY 2011, but are not expected to conclude before current funding expires on Friday, March 18.
The House is preparing to vote on yet another stop-gap bill with $6 billion in cuts to keep the government operating for 3 more weeks. This funding extension most likely will pass both the House and the Senate. Now is the time to join with others in your state and participate in events at the state-level that will show Congress just how many constituents oppose these cuts. The next Congressional recess begins the week of March 21 and your Members of Congress not only need to hear from people in their states, they need to see that people care enough to turn out in support for children and families. We urge you to check with your state's child advocacy organization to find out how you can get involved. Read the full blog entry here.
State Policy Update
Wisconsin Home Visiting Programs Collect Data on Common Outcomes
In a unique collaboration, ten home visiting program sites in Wisconsin that use different home visitation models from one another are using the same outcome framework to evaluate their effectiveness. The Early Years Home Visitation Outcomes Project is a collaborative effort of service providers, funders, and evaluators that began in 2001. The group developed five key outcomes - parents interact with their children in ways that enhance children's development and early learning; children are healthy; children live in a safe environment; families access formal and informal support networks; and children achieve optimal milestones in development and early learning - and indicators for tracking them based on best practices in the field. Participating programs use the same screening and assessment tools when working with families and input the data collected into a central database administered by the Division of Public Health. Data released in 2008 and 2009 suggest that home visiting services are positively impacting the health and well-being of children served by participating programs.
Read the full state policy update now!
Publications & Resources
New Home Visiting Brief from NGA Center for Best Practices
This new issue brief from NGA Center for Best Practices, Maximizing the Impact of State Early Childhood Home Visitation Programs, examines how governors can better integrate home visiting programs into effective and comprehensive state early childhood systems. Key strategies include: promoting coordinating planning and shared accountability across state agencies, developing research-based quality standards, and improving data linkages to track outcomes and better target services.
Podcast on the Federal Budget Process
Making Sense of the Federal Budget Process, a podcast from the New America Foundation, explains how the budget process is supposed to work each year and helps to untangle the confusing state of affairs on Capitol Hill this month, with budget proceedings for both fiscal year 2011 and fiscal year 2012 on Congress's to-do list.
New Report on Health Impacts of Being Behind on Rent
Behind Closed Doors: The Hidden Health Impacts of Being Behind on Rent, a new report by Children's HealthWatch using data from five cities, demonstrates that being behind on rent is not only a risk factor for homelessness but also for seriously compromised maternal and child health. The report also shows that short- and long-term interventions that help stabilize families in housing they can afford could help reduce the numbers of families in homeless shelters and improve the health of mothers and very young children.