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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.

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

   May 23, 2011 bm_joinbut  
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ZERO TO THREE Policy Network Survey: We Want to Hear From YOU!

You are one of more than 10,000 valued advocates across the country in the ZERO TO THREE Policy Network, and your input matters to us a great deal. To improve how we at ZERO TO THREE support you as an advocate, we ask you to complete a short survey, which should take no more than 10 minutes of your time.

Please complete the survey by Friday, June 3, 2011.

The first 500 members who complete the survey will receive a gift from ZERO TO THREE!

With your feedback, we can all make a bigger impact and ensure public policies reflect the developmental and health needs of our very youngest children. Thank you for your time, your passion, your advocacy! Be a Big Voice for Little Kids™!


Download June's Advocacy Developmental Milestone Calendar

It’s almost June, which means it’s time to celebrate the fathers out there and spread the word about the important role they play in the healthy development of their children. This month, your advocacy challenge is to promote the ways that your program engages and supports fathers in the lives of their young children. Download June's Advocacy Developmental Milestone Calendar Now!


Federal Policy Update

We are still awaiting the next move on spending levels for 2012. This week the Senate will vote on two budget plans: the budget resolution passed by the House last month, and President Obama's budget plan released in February. Neither is expected to have the votes needed for adoption. In the midst of this debate, babies and toddlers still remain at risk. The President's February plan supported increased funding for many programs critical to the healthy development of young children. Since that time, however, discussions about setting long-term deficit reduction goals have dominated Washington politics. This focus could still leave discretionary programs such as Early Head Start, child care, and early intervention as perpetual targets.

If you're in the DC area, please join the Congressional Baby Caucus tomorrow, Tuesday May 24th for a briefing entitled America's Most Vulnerable: Infants and Toddlers in the Child Welfare System, from 8:30 am - 10:00 am in the Rayburn House Office Building Room 2358-C.

For more updates, including information on the launch of a new early childhood initiative, read our Federal Policy Baby Blog!


State Policy Update
Kansas Restores State Funding for Early Head Start

Early childhood advocates scored a victory in Kansas when legislators restored $10.2 million of the $11.3 million currently funding Kansas Early Head Start (KEHS) with passage of the state's fiscal year 2012 budget on May 13th. Governor Brownback's original budget proposal called for eliminating all funding for KEHS, which serves approximately 1,250 children in 56 of Kansas' 105 counties. KEHS provides comprehensive services to low-income infants, toddlers, pregnant women, and their families. In some rural areas of the state, it is the only program serving young, at-risk children. Business leaders, early childhood practitioners, parents, and other advocates rallied support for KEHS by holding roundtables with editorial boards from newspapers across the state, conducting market analyses showing the economic and social impact of the proposed cuts on individual communities, and speaking with legislators about the importance of restoring funding. Their efforts ensured many at-risk children in Kansas will continue to receive the KEHS services they need.

Read the full state policy update now!


Publications & Resources

New Infant Toddler Specialist Network Manual
The National Infant & Toddler Child Care Initiative (NITCCI) recently released Developing a Statewide Network of Infant and Toddler Specialists: TA Manual, which describes the process of developing and implementing an Infant Toddler Specialist Network (ITSN) using six State examples.

Brief on Closing the Achievement Gap
A new policy brief from the BUILD Initiative, QRIS and P-3: Creating Synergy Across Systems to Close Achievement Gaps and Improve Opportunities for Young Children, discusses coordinating and aligning efforts around the implementation of Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) and preschool through third grade (P-3) programs to improve the quality of children's early experiences.

Updated FY 2011 Funding Tables from the U.S. Dept. of Education
The U.S. Department of Education released updated funding tables showing the final appropriations for FY 2011. The tables show the FY 2011 initial appropriation, the 0.2 percent across-the-board rescission for FY 2011, and the final 2011 amounts, as well as the $44 million reduction in IDEA funding.

New Report Highlights Cuts to TANF
A new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities examines cuts that states are implementing for many families with children who are receiving assistance through the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant. The cuts will affect 700,000 low-income families that include 1.3 million children; these families represent over one-third of all low-income families receiving TANF nationwide.


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