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.
Earlier this year, the ZERO TO THREE Policy Center, with support from the Birth to Five Policy Alliance and the Pew Home Visiting Campaign, hosted a meeting for seven state teams in Chicago, Illinois to discuss how quality home visiting could be integrated into state early childhood systems. State teams represented Connecticut, Georgia, Michigan, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, and Oklahoma. Sessions focused on topics such as: developing a continuum of home visiting services; building a professional development system; collecting common outcome data; developing a common intake and referral system; and leveraging existing funding sources. Click here to view notes from each session and links to presentations and other resources shared with meeting participants.
Federal Policy Update
Will They “Rock the Cradle” at the Presidential Debate?
Tomorrow night’s debate will be the last time President Obama and Governor Romney will be questioned about domestic issues. Members of the audience for this town hall-style event no doubt are honing their questions should they get called on. Where we come from, there is only one question: Will the candidates “Rock the Cradle”? That is, will they talk about the importance of ensuring necessary services and supports are in place to prepare all young children for their futures?
Use the Presidential Bingo, Infant-Toddler Edition to follow the debate and chart whether the candidates or questioners hit any of the cradle-full of milestones related to the needs of young children. Help draw attention to babies by tweeting with the hashtag #RocktheCradle. To learn more about how to play, find sample tweets, and get ideas about what to do with your bingo card after the debate, read the Baby Policy Blog.
State Policy Update
Pennsylvania Embeds Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation into QRIS
Pennsylvania is leading the way among states by embedding early childhood mental health consultation (ECMHC) into its state’s early education Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS). In 2006, Pennsylvania developed the Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (ECMHC) program, which began as a pilot to provide support to the early care and education workforce as they strived to understand and meet the social and emotional needs of infants and toddlers, especially those exhibiting challenging behaviors. Since its inception, the project has expanded its reach and has progressed into a statewide program funded by the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning with clinical support from the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. All state-registered or certified early care and education facilities enrolled in Keystone STARS, Pennsylvania’s quality rating and improvement system, are eligible to participate in ECMHC. Outcomes achieved include reducing the number of children expelled from child care due to behavioral issues (in the population referred), increasing early care and education practitioners’ understanding of social and emotional development and its impact on educational success, and linking and bridging systems of services. Read the full state policy update now.
Report on State Child Care Assistance Policies
National Women's Law Center released a new state-by-state report, Downward Slide: State Child Care Assistance Policies 2012, which features a review of key child care subsidy policies in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. The report found that families in 27 states are worse off under one or more child care policies in 2012 than in 2011.
New OPRE Brief Uses NSCAW Data The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) has released a new research brief entitled Instability and Early Life Changes Among Children in the Child Welfare System. The brief uses data from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW) to describe instability of caregivers and households among infants involved with the Child Welfare System.
America’s Report Card 2012
First Focus and Save the Children produced America’s Report Card 2012: Children in the U.S., a report card that provides a holistic picture of children’s unmet needs in the U.S. and policy suggestions on how to meet these needs. The report card highlights five aspects of child well-being: economic security, early childhood, K–12 education, permanency and stability, and health and safety.