Stop the Cuts!
It may be Valentine's Day, but love is not in the air on Capitol Hill as Congress heats up the debate about funding for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2011. Although the President released his Fiscal Year 2012 budget today with some positive recommendations for early childhood - officially beginning the budget process for the next year - Congress must pass a funding bill to keep the government funded through the rest of this Fiscal Year. Unfortunately, the House proposed funding cuts are very severe for early childhood programs and services, and your voice and your action is needed NOW!
ZERO TO THREE is committed to guiding you in advocating during this federal budget process. There are many opportunities to influence this process, and we need you to participate! Your voice is needed NOW to prevent these drastic funding cuts. Go directly to our current action alert for information about how to act.
Today, ZERO TO THREE is launching several new advocacy tools to support you in your budget advocacy efforts!
- NEW budget advocacy videos! In these videos, ZERO TO THREE Policy Network member, Stephanie Byrd of Cincinnati, Ohio, simply explains the budget process and how to get involved. The videos feature amazing interactive graphics that visually describe what is happening in the budget process and what comes next. "Babies and the Budget" is an overview of the whole budget process, and "Stop the cuts" focuses on the proposed cuts we're facing right now. Watch the videos now!
- The Federal Policy Baby Blog! The budget process can be fast-paced, and important developments for babies and toddlers can take place in between editions of The Baby Monitor. So ZERO TO THREE is announcing our new Federal Policy Baby Blog, which we will use to keep you informed as events unfold on Capitol Hill. Check the blog regularly for updates and analyses that impact your work.
- House Proposed FY 2011 Continuing Resolution Analysis. House Republicans have proposed deep cuts to early childhood programs and services. Read this thorough analysis of the programs to be cut, the benefits of those programs, and the costs to society should the cuts be enacted. This information will be very useful to you as you communicate your concerns to federal policymakers.
- Babies and the Budget! This written advocacy tool, updated for 2011, provides a timeline of the federal budget process, how it works, and when early childhood professionals can seize opportunities to be involved.
State Policy Update
Washington Develops Birth-to-Three State Plan
Washington's Department of Early Learning submitted a comprehensive birth-to-three state plan to the legislature in December. The effort was co-led by Thrive by Five Washington and involved several early learning stakeholders from across the state. The plan outlines actionable policy recommendations to improve services and achieve measureable outcomes for infants, toddlers, and their families. Many of the recommendations build on strategies identified in Washington's Early Learning Plan, a ten-year plan to ensure school readiness for all children (prenatal to third grade) in the state. Efforts are already underway to move some of the proposals forward, including work on a universal developmental screening system and expansion of home visiting.
Read the full state policy update now!
Publications & Resources
New Study on Economic Benefits to Preschool
New findings from a cost-benefit analysis funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) evaluating the effectiveness of the Chicago Public Schools' federally funded Child-Parent Centers (CPCs) show measurable economic benefits over a child's lifetime for every dollar initially spent on high-quality preschool programs.
Upcoming Forum on Education Policy Connections
Hosted by the New America Foundation on March 2, 2011 in Washington, DC, Before Birth & Up Through Third Grade: A Forum on Education Policy Connections, will examine changes needed at the federal, state and local level to help build a high-quality early learning system that connects seamlessly to public schools. The forum will include panel discussions, small table conversations, speakers and networking with leaders from states, school districts and the early childhood field.
New Article on Translating Research for the Public and Policymakers
Science Does Not Speak for Itself: Translating Child Development Research for the Public and Its Policymakers, published in Child Development, discusses strategies for explaining the complex science of child development to nonscientists, particularly policymakers.