Using Web Tools in Your Advocacy Efforts
It can be hard to remember what it was like before email, the internet, blogs, smartphones, and other technologies made it possible for us to communicate and access the latest information with the push of a button. Web tools can be particularly useful to advocates, allowing us one-click access to policymakers or the most up-to-date information on policies affecting infants and toddlers. In our efforts to be a strong voice for babies, the ZERO TO THREE Policy Center is utilizing web-based tools designed to help you advocate with ease. This article highlights the features of our tools, and explains how you can use them to take a more active role in the public policy process.
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Federal Policy Update
Deficit Reduction Panel Gets Underway
The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction created by the Budget Control Act (BCA) holds its first hearing tomorrow as it begins its work to erase some of the government's red ink. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) co-chair the Committee, which must make recommendations by November 23 for at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reductions over 10 years. Congress and the President must agree with those recommendations by December 23 or automatic cuts (called a sequester) will be triggered. Those automatic cuts would lower the spending cap on nondefense discretionary spending by another 7.8% in 2013. Infant-toddler advocates need to let their policymakers know that discretionary programs (such as Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, and Early Head Start) form the essential social scaffolding that supports healthy and positive development in vulnerable young children. Read more about the Joint Select Committee's work in our Federal Policy Baby Blog. Also, in honor of Grandparents Week, Generations United is promoting efforts to raise awareness about intergenerational programming and ways to advocate for grandfamilies. Check out how you can get involved.
State Policy Update
Governor Ensures Minnesota's Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) Will Continue
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton announced on August 10th that Parent Aware, the state's pilot Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), will continue under current statutory authority. The program was set to expire because the legislature did not include funding for it in the final budget. Parent Aware is a voluntary QRIS for early care and education programs including licensed family child care programs, child care centers, Head Start/Early Head Start, and School Readiness programs. It is being piloted in four Minnesota communities with approximately 400 early care and education programs, serving 22,000 children, participating. Programs are awarded one to four stars depending on the number of points received in four categories: family partnerships; teaching materials and strategies; tracking learning; and teacher training and education. Accredited child care programs, School Readiness programs, and Head Start programs are automatically given a 4-star rating if they demonstrate compliance with licensing or the applicable state/federal program performance standards. An ongoing evaluation of the pilot has found positive outcomes related to quality improvement and children's school readiness skills.
Read the full state update now!
Exciting Opportunities from ZERO TO THREE
Register Now for ZERO TO THREE's National Training Institute (NTI)!
ZERO TO THREE's 26TH NTI: CONNECTING SCIENCE, POLICY, AND PRACTICE
Friday, December 9 - Sunday, December 11, 2011
Pre-Institute Thursday, December 8
Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center
National Harbor - Washington, DC
NTI Registration is now live - Register today at www.zttnticonference.org! Act by October 7th and receive our early bird discount rate. ZERO TO THREE provides an unparalleled opportunity for professionals interested in infant-toddler policy issues to learn and network with colleagues. Sessions of interest include the Policy Plenary "Transforming Early Learning: Creating a Path to Quality for Our Youngest Children," featuring invited speakers Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, and "Linking Research, Practice, and Policy: Lessons Learned from Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Evaluations in Three States." For additional session information and to register, visit www.zttnticonference.org.
ZERO TO THREE is Recruiting a New Class of Fellows: Apply Now!
ZERO TO THREE is now recruiting candidates for the 2012 class of Fellows for the ZERO TO THREE Leaders for the 21st Century Fellowship Program. Leaders for the 21st Century is a national fellowship program designed to strengthen the ability of committed, talented multidisciplinary professionals to implement policies and practices that promote the healthy development of babies and their families. The initiative brings together a select group of current and future leaders from varied professional backgrounds, geographic regions and racial and ethnic groups and offers them career-expanding opportunities. We seek individuals who are passionate about building exemplary services and systems for our most vulnerable infants, toddlers and families.
The deadline for application is midnight EST, Friday, October 28, 2011.
For additional information or to obtain an application please click here or call Betty Johnson at (202) 857-2617.