Blogging NTI: The Virtual Policy Booth
he ZERO TO THREE Policy Center booth is always the center of activity at the National Training Institute (NTI)—well, maybe we’re a little biased.
Conference attendees stop by to pick up materials, take part in our annual advocacy activity, and grab a piece of candy for a pick-me-up between sessions. Now you can visit the policy booth, too, and help yourself to its offering (except for the candy).
For the first time, those of you who couldn’t attend NTI can participate in the advocacy activity. This year, our advocacy activity centers around our new State Baby Factsheets, now available for every state and the District of Columbia. The goal is to get these profiles of babies and toddlers into the hands of Members of Congress. People at the conference are stopping by the policy booth, browsing the factsheets, and signing a letter that will go with their state’s factsheet to their Senators and Representatives.
The letter urges Senators and Representatives to bear in mind the importance of young children as they address the serious issues facing our country. It gives some key facts about infants and toddlers in their states, describes the rapid early brain development that makes them so vulnerable to adversity, and emphasizes the importance of federal programs in supporting the healthy development of the many at-risk babies profiled in each State Baby Facts. It closes by urging them to Be a Big Voice for Little Kids™ in using their position to help young children succeed in school and in life.
You can participate by being a “virtual signer” of the letter for your state. Check out your state’s factsheet, then click here to sign the letter. We’ll deliver them to Capitol Hill next week. And be sure to download a copy for yourself!
People are already snatching up other materials at the policy booth. Here are some of their favorites:
The Return of the Policy Pocket Card— Back by popular demand! At last year’s NTI, there was a stampede to the policy booth when we unveiled a new pocket card. This handy reference packs a lot of information into a small space, summarizing what we know from science, the benefits of quality early childhood experiences, and what we can do, all in the perfect size to fit in your pocket when going to talk with a policy maker.
Policy Guide—Our compendium of policy briefs on everything from Early Head Start to state systems change is described in a brochure at the booth, but you can go right to it by clicking here.
A Call to Action on Behalf of Maltreated Infants and Toddlers—This joint statement from ZERO TO THREE and partner organizations lays out a developmental framework for addressing the needs of infants and toddlers in the child welfare system.
Home Visiting Community Planning Tool—This resource guides communities through the process of creating new or expanding existing home visiting services that meet their unique needs. Especially useful for communities receiving funding through the federal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program.
Other materials at the booth include flyers with previews of coming attractions: a new Community Infant Mental Health Guide from the Substance Abuse, and Mental Health Services Administration, and a series of new DVD’s from ZERO TO THREE’s Safe Babies Court Teams project.
So check out these and other policy resources—and avoid the stampede!
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