August 5, 2013
The Early Learning Challenge Grant is Helping States Better Serve Infants and Toddlers
Fourteen states have received Early Learning Challenge (ELC) grants since the program was initiated in 2011. Though they are not using a significant portion of their grants to fund initiatives targeting infants and toddlers specifically, grantees’ efforts to strengthen the systems that support all young children and families will reap many benefits for babies. Learn more about the plans states have and progress they’ve made implementing ELC initiatives by reading the full article here.
Federal Policy Update
Rally On During Recess!
From now until September 9th, Members of Congress will be in their home districts for the Congressional recess. This is a great opportunity to keep the rattle shaking since we know that the squeaky toy is the one that gets the most attention! #Rally4Babies by reaching out to your Members of Congress and advocating for expanded investments in early learning opportunities for infants and toddlers! The national Preschool for All Initiative will greatly impact the early childhood community by expanding the availability of high-quality child care options for infants and toddlers through partnerships between Early Head Start and child care and by expanding voluntary home-visiting programs.
Take advantage of these awesome new tools:
• The preschool advocacy toolkit including talking points as well as some resources for planning your advocacy activities over the August recess and beyond.
• New poll results showing overwhelming support for early childhood education to strengthen your advocacy activities.
#Rally4Babies so that infants and toddlers get a strong start and our nation will prosper!
State Policy Update
Rhode Island Becomes Third State to Offer Paid Family Leave
“Thanks to everyone at ZERO TO THREE for your great publication on paid family leave. We used your report to educate legislators and secure passage of the bill, making Rhode Island the 3rd state in the U.S. to offer paid family leave.” –Leanne C. Barrett, Rhode Island KIDS COUNT
Rhode Island passed legislation instituting the Temporary Caregiver Insurance Program (TCI) last month, which will provide up to four weeks of partial wage replacement to workers who take time off to bond with a new child (including biological, adopted, foster, and step children) or to care for a seriously ill family member. Individuals on leave will receive approximately two-thirds of their normal pay (benefits are capped for individuals making more than $61,400 per year). The program also provides job protection and continuation of health benefits during leave. TCI will be funded entirely through employee paycheck deductions – approximately 64 cents per week for workers earning $40,060 annually. It will be folded into the state’s existing temporary disability program administered by the Department of Labor and Training. It is scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2014. Read more here.
Photo Caption Contest Update
Thank you to everyone who submitted an entry for the photo caption contest. We received so many great entries that we couldn't just choose one! Help us select the winner by voting on your favorite caption from the choices below:
Choice #1: "Are the funds down here?"
Choice #2: Because this is the only bottom line that really matters!
Choice #3: How America invests in its future is completely upside down.
Click here to submit your vote now! Voting ends on Thursday, August 8. The winning caption will be shared on Facebook and Twitter.
Publications & Resources
Early Care and Education State Budget Actions for FY 2013
The National Conference of State Legislatures has published new findings from a survey of 21 state legislative fiscal offices on their FY 2013 state appropriations for early care and education programs. Read the the summary of findings here, the state budget report here, and the state budget tables here.
Success Indicators in Early Learning and Education
Markers that Matter: Success Indicators in Early Learning and Education, a new report from the Foundation Strategy Group with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, examines a set of 48 early childhood indicators that reflect healthy development of young children. The report also highlights 10 emerging themes, areas that are not sufficiently addressed by existing indicators and where further inquiry is needed.
Child Care Experiences of Low-Income Parents
Child Trends released results from its Maryland Child Care Choices study, a two-year longitudinal survey of parents who were applying for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) in 2011. The study results are reported in four briefs:
Multistate Approach to Early Learning Standards
As part of its Policy Conversations series, the Ounce of Prevention Fund released a new paper entitled Considering a Multistate Approach to Early Learning Standards, which discusses what a multistate early learning standards initiative might achieve and how it might be successfully executed.