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.
As early childhood advocates, we’re all leaders. However, not all leaders are the same—we each have our own strengths to offer in advancing an infant-toddler policy agenda. This ZERO TO THREE Policy Network article, Deconstructing Leadership, examines the different types of leadership styles commonly associated with advocacy efforts and how those styles can contribute to effective change for infants, toddlers, and their families. Click here to find out your advocacy leadership style!
April is the Month of the Military Child! During this month, we take time to honor young children with one or both parents serving in the military. This month’s advocacy challenge is to increase public awareness (and your own!) about the unique challenges faced by infants and toddlers in military families. Download April's Advocacy Developmental Milestone Calendar now!
Federal Policy Update
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) turns two this week, and all over the country organizations and individuals are celebrating the law’s impacts on American families. Stay tuned to the Federal Policy Baby Blog to learn what’s going on around the country and how the law impacts babies.
Today, Medicaid is the largest source of health care coverage for children in America, serving nearly 35 million low-income children. However, 8.9% of U.S. children under age 6 remain uninsured. Uninsured children are three times less likely to have seen a doctor than insured children. But by expanding Medicaid in 2014 to include more families in need, the ACA has set out to change those numbers and the health outcomes of millions of children. To read more, visit our Federal Policy Baby Blog.
State Policy Update
Oregon Passes Early Childhood Services Coordination Bill
Oregon passed a major early childhood bill on March 6th to improve coordination and accountability among early childhood programs. House Bill 4165 eliminates the Oregon Commission on Children and Families and the Oregon Commission on Childcare, transferring the programs and responsibilities to the recently established Early Learning Council (ELC). As part of its efforts to streamline early childhood services, the ELC is required to submit a proposal for a global budgeting approach for early learning services to the legislature by 2013. Regional hubs will replace the existing county-level commissions on children and families to convene and coordinate early learning services locally. The ELC will also take the lead on work being done to select screening tools for use in all settings serving children. Plans include screening all babies at birth, 9 months, 18 months, and age 3 to determine whether they are reaching milestones. In addition, every state-funded program–including health, nutrition, and parenting programs–will focus on and report school-readiness indicators. Key to this strategy is the requirement that the state implement a Tiered Quality Rating Improvement System and a kindergarten readiness assessment, which schools must begin using by fall 2013. Read the full state policy update now!
Intergenerational Communities Briefing on Capitol Hill Generations United, in partnership with MetLife Foundation, will be holding a briefing on America’s Best Intergenerational Communities on Wednesday, March 28th from 1:20-2:30 pm in 562 Dirksen Senate Office Building. The purpose of the briefing is to educate policymakers and advocates about what communities are doing to serve and engage all generations. The briefing, co-sponsored by ZERO TO THREE, will recognize the work of five communities that have developed innovative curriculum, programs and practices to bring together multiple generations to strengthen their communities. If you will be in Washington, DC on March 28, we encourage you to attend.
New Developments in Early Childhood Education The March 2012 issue of the FINE Newsletter, from Harvard University’s Family Involvement Network of Educators, is devoted to highlighting the latest developments in early childhood education (ECE). Topics include current research about the importance of involving families early on and what organizations such as the Office of Head Start and the U.S. Department of Education are doing to reshape the way ECE programs across the country are thinking about the role of families. Click here to view the newsletter.
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