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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.

New ZERO TO THREE Policy Pocket Card!

ZERO TO THREE - National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families

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   February 28, 2011 bm_joinbut  
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New ZERO TO THREE Policy Pocket Card!

There is a lot at stake right now for young children and their families, and we need to convey that sense of urgency to policymakers in a clear and concise way. To help you in your advocacy efforts, ZERO TO THREE presents the ZERO TO THREE Policy Pocket Card, which provides you with a quick and easy way to communicate effectively with policymakers about what we know, what we can do and how we all benefit from supporting early childhood experiences beginning at birth.

With this pocket card in hand, you and your colleagues will be able to communicate effectively about supporting the early years. And the great thing about the card is you can also give a copy to your policymakers, so they have the key points at their fingertips.

Supplies are limited, so act fast! The first 150 members of the ZERO TO THREE Policy Network to email your name and address to policyenter@zerotothree.org will receive a pack of 25 Policy Pocket Cards. You must commit that you will disseminate the policy pocket cards to your policymakers and other advocates who will speak with policymakers about the importance of investing in young children and their families. Just email us at: policycenter@zerotothree.org. The Policy Pocket Card is also available for download on our website.

Download March's Advocacy Developmental Milestone Calendar! Your advocacy challenge this month is to distribute the Policy Pocket Card to at least ten people, so everyone is getting the message out.

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Federal Policy Update

With funding for the federal government set to run out this Friday, the House of Representatives has put an offer on the table for a two-week extension with $4 billion in cuts. Because the cuts are focused on programs proposed for elimination in the President's 2012 budget and funds used for earmarks, the Senate may find the proposal more palatable than being blamed for a government shutdown. Not all the cuts are straightforward, however. A big chunk comes out of education, including funding for a comprehensive birth-through-12th grade literacy initiative. While President Obama does indeed propose to eliminate a group of literacy programs he finds are piecemeal and ineffective, his intent is to transfer their funding to this new comprehensive effort that is already underway. Read more on our blog.

Infant and toddler advocates need to continue calling their Senators and Representatives to urge them to reject deep cuts in a range of programs would have a devastating impact on young children and their families. Of particular concern are the 368,000 children, including more than 50,000 infants and toddlers in Early Head Start, who would lose their places in early childhood programs if Head Start and child care funds are cut. We need to emphasize that children and families make the sacrifice being demanded, not programs. See our latest alert to place a call now.

Finally, check out last week's posts on our Federal Policy Baby Blog:

  • Babies and the President's 2012 Budget
  • FY 2011 Funding Battle Moves to the Senate
  •  

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    State Policy Update
    Indiana's QRIS Includes Indicators Specific to Infants and Toddlers

    Improving the quality of care for infants and toddlers is an intentional goal of Indiana's quality rating and improvement system (QRIS). Paths to QUALITY differentiates the needs of infants and toddlers from older children by identifying specific requirements that must be met when caring for them. Infant-toddler indicators related to continuity of care, provider-child interactions, materials, daily schedules, and fostering language and literacy are included throughout the four-tier system. Licensed child care homes, licensed child care centers, and unlicensed registered child care ministries are eligible to enroll in the voluntary program. At the end of 2010 there were 2,000 programs participating, approximately 20% at the top two levels. Paths to QUALITY is currently being evaluated by Purdue University.

    Read the full state policy update now!

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    Just Released: ZERO TO THREE Co-authors Article for American Psychological Association

    Check out Opportunities in Public Policy to Support Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health: The Role of Psychologists and Policymakers, a new paper by Florence Nelson, PhD, of ZERO TO THREE and Tammy Mann, PhD, of the Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute. Published by the American Psychological Association, the paper emphasizes the importance of the creation and integration of services for parents and caregivers of young children so they can recognize mental health issues in infants and are able to find help.

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    Publications & Resources

    New Head Start Videos
    Created by the First Five Years Fund, Our Head Start is a campaign to educate policy leaders and the public about the role Head Start plays in shaping the lives of many Americans. The campaign's website features videos of adults who attended the program as children, which will be shared with federal policymakers so they better understand the ways in which Head Start funding can advance America's economic future.

    Materials from Conference on Policy and Mental Health Development
    The national Build Initiative meeting, Healthy Mental Development in Young Children: Policy Strategies to Ensure School Readiness, provided an opportunity for 14 states from across the country to discuss the multidimensional facets of healthy child mental development as related to policy and practice. The conference offered peer-to-peer learning and sharing between national leaders of child health planning and policy and state teams as well as opportunities for state level planning and networking. Materials from the meeting are available on the Build website.

    New Report on Systems to Support Social-emotional Development
    State-level Indicators for Social-emotional Development: Building Better Systems, a new report from the National Center for Children in Poverty, addresses the process of creating a system of indicators for social-emotional wellness, examines recent state experiences in this area, and describes a framework for moving forward in the development of social-emotional indicators for state policymakers.

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    Copyright 2012 ZERO TO THREE: National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families
    1255 23rd Street, NW, Suite 350, Washington, DC 20037 | Phone: (202) 638-1144 | Fax: (202) 638-0851

    All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, go to www.zerotothree.org/reprints