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 President’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget, released on April 10th, approaches deficit reduction both by raising revenues and cutting spending. The President’s budget would restore for FY 2014 cuts made by the FY 2013 sequester, or across-the-board cuts. The majority of programs for young children would be returned to their FY 2012 levels. Included in the budget are substantial investments in early learning. Recognizing that the beginning years of a child’s life are critical for building the early foundation needed for success later in school and in life—and that high-quality early learning programs can help level the playing field for children from lower-income families on vocabulary and social and emotional development—the budget reflects the series of new investments that will establish a continuum of high-quality early learning for children beginning at birth and continuing to age 5. For more about the investments in early learning, as well as an analysis examining proposed program funding from the perspective of support for the healthy development of infants and toddlers, read ZERO TO THREE’s What’s in the Budget for Babies?: Analysis of the President’s 2014 Budget.
State Policy Update Chicago Increases Access to High-Quality Early Learning Opportunities
A three-year $36 million investment in early childhood education by the city of Chicago will give more than 2,300 additional children aged zero to five access to high-quality early learning programs and associated wrap-around services this fall. In addition to increasing funding, the city also revised how it allocates money to early learning programs, creating a simpler and more coordinated process for all schools and community-based organizations in the city. Funding requests were jointly reviewed by the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to ensure resources were strategically allocated across the city in a way that best serves the most children. Parents can find information about all of the city-funded early learning programs on Chicago’s new interactive online portal (www.chicagoearlylearning.org). Read the full state policy update now.
MSNBC Report on Sequestration Features ZTT Executive Director
On Friday, April 12, MSNBC ran a segment about the negative impact of sequester cuts on children and families enrolled in Head Start programs. ZERO TO THREE’s Executive Director, Matthew Melmed, was featured along with a parent and Head Start site director to discuss the effect these cuts will have on the development of young children. Click here to watch the video clip.
Publications & Resources
Brief from ZERO TO THREE Western Office A new policy brief by the ZERO TO THREE Western Office, Improving Access to Early Identification and Intervention: 211 LA County Developmental Screening and Care Coordination, describes the 211 LA County telephone-based developmental screening and care coordination program. It offers policy recommendations for expanding and replicating the model and discusses research supporting universal developmental screening. Alliance for Early Success: A New Name and New Policy Framework The “Birth to Five Policy Alliance” is changing its name to the “Alliance for Early Success” (the Alliance) and extending its policy focus through age eight. The Alliance’s core mission is to improve state policies for vulnerable children starting at the earliest time. The expanded age range is based on the science of how children develop and the latest research in early childhood. The Alliance has also created a new birth through age eight state policy framework, which can be downloaded here. Learn more about the Alliance at www.earlysuccess.org.
Ranking of State Child Care Center Regulations Child Care Aware of America’s We Can Do Better: 2013 Update scores and ranks the states, including the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense (DoD), on 11 program requirements and four oversight benchmarks for child care centers. The report found that states have made progress but more progress is needed. The average score in 2013 was 92 out of a possible 150 points (61 percent of all possible points). Read the full report and information for each of the states here.