Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole Awarded Baby Champion Legislative Leadership Award by ZERO TO THREE
Representative Cole receives the award for making babies and young children a national priority.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — As part of its second annual Strolling Thunder event, ZERO TO THREE presented Congressman Cole with its Baby Champion Legislative Leadership Award. This honor recognizes members of Congress and others who make babies and young children a national priority, and who fight to be big voices for little kids.
“The science is clear - babies’ brains grow faster between the ages of 0 and 3 than at any later point in life. In fact, their brains form more than 1 million new neural connections every second,” said Matthew Melmed, ZERO TO THREE Executive Director. “Nurturing relationships, early learning experiences and good nutrition can strengthen those connections, laying the foundation for the rest of their lives. With baby champions like Congressman Cole on board, we can ensure a strong future for us all.”
As chairman of the House Labor-HHS Appropriations subcommittee, Representative Tom Cole is a leader in setting Congressional funding priorities for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which includes critical funding for babies and toddlers. In the Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations bill, HHS received unprecedented funding levels for young children. Federal appropriations for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) were nearly doubled for FY2018, Early Head Start received an increase of $115 million for expanding that program, and, for the first time ever, Congress funded Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health grants.
“Supporting children from the beginning is critical to their future physically, mentally and emotionally,” said Representative Cole. “I am honored to receive the Baby Champion Legislative Leadership Award. Directing funds to infant and child support programs is not only the right thing to do, it is building the foundation so that millions of children have a bright future.”
Families from all 50 states and the District of Columbia will gather on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, sharing their stories with their Members of Congress and urging them to take action for stronger families, vibrant communities, and a prosperous country.
About ZERO TO THREE
ZERO TO THREE works to ensure all babies and toddlers benefit from the family and community connections critical to their well-being and development. Since 1977, the organization has advanced the proven power of nurturing relationships by transforming the science of early childhood into helpful resources, practical tools and responsive policies for millions of parents, professionals and policymakers. For more information, and to learn how to become a ZERO TO THREE member, please visit zerotothree.org, facebook.com/zerotothree or follow @zerotothree on Twitter.