Heed the Call! Raise Awareness About Infants and Toddlers in the Child Welfare System
Thousands of infants and toddlers are threatened by abuse and neglect in the U.S. each year. As professionals in the early childhood field, we can speak up about this tragedy and advocate for policies and practices that better address the unique needs of infants and toddlers in the child welfare system.
Download the December Advocacy Calendar and see how you can Be a Big Voice for Little KidsTM in the child welfare system.
Federal Policy Update
Deadline for Super Committee Passes with No Bipartisan Deficit Reduction Plan
Yesterday was the day when members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction needed to put the finishing touches on their proposal for finding $1.2 trillion in federal budgetary savings. They were supposed to present their plan to their colleagues before the statutory deadline tomorrow, November 23, but they did not come up with a plan. They were unable to agree on enough spending cuts to satisfy some members of the Committee or enough revenue increases to satisfy others. The Super Committee Co-Chairs released a statement yesterday, saying they had "come to the conclusion today that it will not be possible to make any bipartisan agreement available to the public before the committee's deadline." So, what happens next? Read our Federal Policy Baby Blog to learn more about what the lack of a plan could mean for babies.
Community Policy Update
Seattle Voters Approve Funding for Early Learning
On November 8th, Seattle voters overwhelmingly passed a $232 million extension of the Families and Education Levy. The levy provides support for children and their families in an effort to prepare all of Seattle's children to graduate from school college/career ready. According to recommendations developed by the 2011 Families and Education Levy Advisory Committee, approximately $61 million of the new seven-year extension could be directed toward a coordinated strategy to prepare children to enter kindergarten ready to learn. Components of the strategy include a new initiative to provide training for Family, Friend and Neighbor (FFN) care providers; continued partnership with United Way to provide home visitation to vulnerable families; expansion of health and mental health screenings for young children in preschool, child care, and home settings; and support to help children transition to kindergarten. Seattle residents first passed the Families and Education Levy in 1990. The 2011 renewal nearly doubles the amount of the current levy. The City Council is expected to approve a final implementation plan soon.
Read the full community policy update now!
Publications & Resources
Maximum SNAP Benefit Still Falls Short
Children's HealthWatch research demonstrates that the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) is crucial to protecting and promoting children's health and well-being during their early years. As such, protecting SNAP's existing entitlement structure and maintaining the SNAP boost from ARRA is essential to help families provide healthy, nutrient-rich food to their children. SNAP can help ensure that children are ready to learn and, later, ready to earn. Click to read The Real Cost of a Healthy Diet: 2011.
NECTAC Releases Two Annual Compilations
NECTAC released its annual update on the implementation of the IDEA Part C Infants and Toddlers Program. This publication provides a compilation of resources on the Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities (Part C) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). NECTAC also released its annual update on the implementation of the Part B Section 619 Preschool Special Education Program. The 2011 edition updates information provided by state coordinators on state policies, programs, and practices under the Preschool Grants Program (Section 619 of Part B) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
The Role of Children's Interests in Early Literacy and Language Development
The Center for Early Literacy Learning (CELL) has published a meta-analysis examining the relationship between variations of young children's personal and situational interests and their early literacy and language abilities. Role of Children's Interests in Early Literacy and Language Development is available online.
2012 National Summit on Quality in Home Visiting Programs
The 2012 National Summit on Quality in Home Visiting Programs: Connecting Research to Policy and Practice will be held on February 15-16, 2012 in Washington, DC. It is sponsored by Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Every Child Succeeds, and The Pew Center on the States. Leaders in home visiting research, policy, and practice will discuss the latest developments in the field, sharing strategies to ensure home visiting investments are supporting evidence-based models backed by strong policies and embedded in early childhood systems. To learn more about the event, please visit the 2012 National Summit website.