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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.

The Baby Monitor: State Policy Database

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

   October 11, 2011 bm_joinbut  
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Baby Matters: Get the Latest on Your State!

Curious to know what's going on in your state? Wondering what other states are doing around home visiting? Want the latest on professional development? Check out Baby Matters: A Gateway to State Policies and Initiatives. Baby Matters is a searchable database that contains resource information on state policies and initiatives that impact infants, toddlers and their families, and was updated over the summer to reflect recent activity in states.

The policies and initiatives are searchable by category, state, or keyword. A detailed description of each policy or initiative is provided, as well as links to additional related resources. Check it out now!


Federal Policy Update

With fiscal year 2012 a little more than a week old, the wheels have started to turn on funding decisions for many discretionary programs important to infants and toddlers. These programs fall mostly in the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill, versions of which have been proposed in both the Senate and the House. Final decisions, however, will likely come as part of negotiations over a larger bill, either an omnibus (a big bill that is a vehicle for all spending bills) or a minibus (a smaller vehicle that carries only a few individual spending bills), to fund the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year. The Continuing Resolution currently keeping the government open runs out on November 18.

The proposed bills contain a mixture of good news for babies -both bills increase funding for Head Start and Early Head Start, for example - and bad news in the form of proposals to rescind home visiting funds in the House bill, among other things. They give a glimpse of the hard decisions that have to be made in the current austere budgetary climate. And the road could get bumpier in the coming months. As the "Super Committee" works in comparative silence to come up with more than a trillion dollars in deficit reduction, no one knows what lies ahead.

Read the full Federal Update on our Federal Policy Baby Blog.


State Policy Update
Delaware Increases Reimbursement Rate for Child Care Providers

While many states are cutting funding for child care subsidy programs, Delaware is increasing the reimbursement rates early care and education providers receive for caring for low-income children. As of October 1, all providers caring for children eligible for the state's Purchase of Care system receive 65% of the market rate, plus an additional 50 cents per child per day. The $12 million necessary to implement the increase was part of a $22 million plan to improve early childhood services passed by the legislature in June 2011. An expansion of Delaware Stars for Early Success, the state's quality rating and improvement system, was also funded by the legislation. Participating providers that have earned ratings of 3, 4, or 5 stars are now eligible for higher reimbursement rates of 80%, 90%, or 100% of the market rate. The expansion also includes technical assistance to support providers in making quality improvements and merit awards for achieving a higher star-level.

Read the full state update now!


Publications & Resources

New Data on Health Care Financing
The Catalyst Center, with support from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, recently updated its online State-at-a-Glance Chartbook on Coverage and Financing for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSCHN) for the states, DC, and Puerto Rico. The chartbook combines data from more than 15 sources to provide demographic, economic, health care services, and coverage information related to CYSHCN and states' progress toward achieving the six core performance outcomes for CYSHCN.

Final Part C Regulations Released
Final Part C Final Regulations were published in the Federal Register on September 28. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law ensuring services to children with disabilities throughout the nation, and governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities. Infants and toddlers with disabilities (birth-2) and their families receive early intervention services under IDEA Part C. Read the final regulations here.

New Video on Child Outcomes
A new video from the Early Childhood Outcomes Center describes and illustrates the three child outcomes adopted by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and reported on by all state early intervention (Part C) and preschool special education (Part B/619) programs as part of their Annual Performance Report (APR). The video offers a consistent way to describe the outcome areas across programs and states, and can be used to provide an overview to the three outcomes for professional development and training, orienting families, and introducing the outcomes to other constituents such as policymakers or funders. The video explains functioning necessary for each child to be an active and successful participant at home, in the community, and in other places like a child care program or preschool.

Upcoming Webinar on Engaging Business Leaders
The Partnership for America's Economic Success and the Pew Home Visiting Campaign will be hosting a webinar on Tuesday, October 18 at 3:00pm EST, The Lasting Benefits of Home Visiting: Engaging Business Leaders in Smart Early Childhood Investments, which will feature two business leaders who will discuss why home visiting programs are a smart investment for states and make the case that business leaders have a stake in supporting children's programs with a solid evidence base. The webinar will also provide insight into how advocates can work with the business community when engaging in policy debates, and highlight the findings of a Pew report that investigates the extent to which all 50 states and the District of Columbia are supporting evidence-based program models. Register here.

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