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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.

Using Social Media to Advocate for Infants and Toddlers

The Baby Monitor

July 9, 2012



Using Social Media Tools to Advocate for Infants and Toddlers

Social media is transforming the way people connect with each other on many levels—and it’s becoming an ever-increasing tool for advocates on a wide variety of issues. This article from the ZERO TO THREE Policy Network lays out common social media tools and presents tips on how they can be used to reach policymakers, fellow advocates, and others who have the ability to influence public policy. Click here to read the article now.



Federal Policy Update

Congress returns this week from its Independence Day District Work period with a raft of work, including continuing action on Fiscal Year 2013 Appropriations Bills. While the Senate Appropriations Committee has already approved its version of a measure for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education– including modest funding increases for Head Start and Early Head Start, child care, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)–  the House Appropriations Subcommittee is expected to consider its competing measure before the August recess. There is one hurdle that could get in the way of a final agreement on funding before the October 1 start of the new fiscal year:  the House Subcommittee is working with $7 billion less than the Senate measure.

For the House of Representatives, the first order of business will be consideration of legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which was upheld by the Supreme Court last week as constitutional under Congress' power to levy taxes. The House Majority leadership has pledged to do what the Supreme Court didn't do– repeal the health reform law before Congress breaks for the 2012 Presidential and Congressional elections on November 6. Read our Baby Policy Blog for more information about the impact of the Supreme Court decision on children.



State Policy Update
Washington Begins Statewide Expansion of Quality Rating and Improvement System

Using a phased roll-out over the next year, Washington is expanding its voluntary quality rating and improvement system, Early Achievers, statewide. Licensed and certified child care providers are eligible to participate in the five-level rating system, which awards programs points in four areas: child outcomes; facility curriculum and learning environment and interactions; professional development and training; and family engagement and partnership. Head Start and state run preschool programs will be eligible beginning in 2013, after a pilot exploring how best they can participate is complete. The Department of Early Learning is partnering with Child Care Aware Washington and the University of Washington on the roll-out. Participating programs are offered training, technical assistance, and coaching free of charge. Professional development scholarships and quality improvement awards will be available to eligible facilities at later stages of participation. The state is also exploring initiating a tiered reimbursement system. Early Achievers is funded by the state’s 2011 Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant and the federal Child Care Development Fund. Read the full state policy update now.



Publications & Resources

Financing Home Visiting with Medicaid
A new report from the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) and the Pew Center on the States entitled Medicaid Financing of Early Childhood Home Visiting Programs: Options, Opportunities, and Challenges examines ways that states are using Medicaid funding to pay for home visiting. The report also includes in-depth case studies profiling six states’ experiences with Medicaid financing of home visiting services.

Screening Developmental Delays
PolicyLab at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has released a brief: SERIES: An Integrated Approach to Supporting Child Development. The brief proposes the adoption of the “SERIES” approach to screening developmental delays, which includes all steps from screening to services. The brief explores barriers that may prevent children from completing the SERIES, and proposes practice and policy actions that may help with planning, financing, and delivering early childhood services.

New Issue of The Child Indicator

Child Trends has released the Spring 2012 issue of The Child Indicator, its newsletter about major developments in the child, youth, and family indicators field. The current issue features articles about children’s mental health, county-level health rankings, and global indicators of children’s well-being.


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