You Have What it Takes: Identify Your Advocacy Skills
As the federal budget battle continues, use this unique interactive tool from the ZERO TO THREE Policy Center - You Have What It Takes! - to help you identify the skills that make you a great advocate, and then guide you as you turn those skills into action. You can be an effective advocate for very young children and their families, and you already have the skills to do it. In fact, your abilities, knowledge, and experience give you the foundation to be an excellent advocate. Click here to check out the tool and get started!
Federal Policy Update
Late last Friday night, Congress narrowly averted a government shutdown, reaching agreement on total spending levels for 2011 at the eleventh hour. The President and House and Senate leaders agreed on cuts reportedly totaling $38.5 billion. Congress then passed a one week stop-gap bill buying time to hammer out the details. While rumors abound, the details of the agreement won't be available until tonight. Keep following the Federal Policy Baby Blog for analysis of the impact on infants and toddlers. Voting on the final package will take place later this week.
While Washington heaved a collective sigh of relief that the shutdown showdown ended before time ran out, this fight was a mere skirmish in a larger battle over the shape of federal spending for decades to come. This week, the House will consider the Budget Resolution proposed by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and approved by the Committee last week. This proposal would drastically scale back funding for programs that assist low-income children and families, including creating block grants for Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Advocates for infants and toddlers must now turn their attention to this larger battle and once again prepare to take action.
Read our Federal Policy Baby Blog to learn more, and click here to take action now!
State Policy Update
Connecticut Prepares Consultants to Work with Infants and Toddlers
Connecticut's Head Start Collaboration Office and Department of Social Services Child Care Team are partnering to ensure that consultants working with Early Head Start and child care programs serving infants and toddlers have the knowledge and skills they need to be effective. For the past several years, the two agencies have participated in collaborative efforts with five other New England states to develop an infant-toddler curriculum for consultants from multiple disciplines, including health, mental health, and education. The three training modules focus on relationships; screening and assessment; and curriculum and individualization. Connecticut piloted the use of the modules three times, delivering the training to fourteen multi-disciplinary teams of consultants. In addition to improving participants' understanding of very young children's needs, the training has been shown to increase communication and teamwork among consultants.
Read the full state policy update now!
Publications & Resources
Webinar Tomorrow on Federal Budget Threats
This webinar co-sponsored by the Children's Leadership Council and the Coalition on Human Needs, taking place on Tuesday, April 12th at noon EST, will highlight the budget proposal coming to the U.S. House floor this week, and how it would affect your state, your neighbors, and you, and will discuss how you can join in a national effort to fight back. Register now!
New Data on Children in Immigrant Families
The Annie E. Casey Foundation's KIDS COUNT Data Center released new data on children living in immigrant families, highlighting the increasing diversity in the United States.
Register Now for the 2011 Birth to Three Institute
Registration is now open for the 2011 Birth to Three Institute, "Hand in Hand: Collaborating to Support Our Babies, Toddlers, Families and Communities." The Institute will take place June 20-23, 2011 at the Washington Hilton Hotel.
New Resources from the National Center for Children in Poverty
The National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) released a new online tool, The Young Child Risk Calculator, which shows users how many children under age six in each state are experiencing serious risks to their development. The tool allows users to select from various age groups as well as economic and other risk factors known to affect children's development. NCCP also released their latest Early Childhood State Policy Profiles, a comprehensive view of state policies in the areas of health, early care and education, and parenting and economic supports, that affect the health and well-being of young children in low-income families.