NAEYC Children’s Champions Update
May 28, 2010
*Child Care Funding
*NIEER Annual Report on State PreK
*State Longitudinal Data Grants
*White House Obesity Task Force Report
CHILD CARE FUNDING – WHAT WILL HAPPEN AFTER ARRA?
Earlier this week, The New York Times had a front-page article entitled, “Cuts to Child Care Subsidy Thwart More Job Seekers.” Although the President requested a $1.6 billion increase in child care funds for fiscal year 2011, it is unclear what Congress will do with his request. The ARRA/stimulus funds were helpful to prevent even greater waiting lists and reduction in quality initiatives. But those special funds are coming to an end, and Congress needs to provide the President’s request so that children don’t lose their assistance and states can continue to help fund quality initiatives.
That’s why it is important for you to contact your members of Congress and let them know the importance of child care assistance to families and children. A report by the National Women’s Law Center shows how your state used its ARRA child care funds, and you can see the significant difference that those funds mean to children and families in your state. Use those facts and your experiences to show them the value of an increased investment in child care. To contact your members of Congress, go to www.naeyc.org/policy/action
New York Times, May 23 article:
NIERR RELEASES ANNUAL STATE PREK REPORT
The 2009 State Preschool Yearbook is the seventh in a series of annual reports and this year presents data on state-funded prekindergarten during the 2008-2009 school year. The report shows that the average amount states spent per child, when adjusted for inflation, declined from $4,179 in 2008 to $4,143 in 2009, ending an upward trend. Real spending per child declined in 24 of 38 states with programs. Total enrollment and spending increased, but not in every state. This year’s report includes an interactive dataset that you can use to create your own data tables. The report is available at http://nieer.org/yearbook/
20 STATES RECEIVE GRANTS FOR STATE LONGITUDINAL DATA SYSTEMS
The Department’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) has awarded grants to 20 states for the design and implementation of statewide longitudinal data systems. These grants, funded under the ARRA, are intended to support states with systems that promote the linking of data across time and databases, from early childhood into career, including matching teachers to students, while protecting student privacy and confidentiality consistent with applicable privacy protection laws. Learn more at http://nces.ed.gov/programs/SLDS/.
WHITE HOUSE TASK FORCE ON CHILDHOOD OBESITY RELEASES ITS REPORT
Earlier this month, the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity released its report, Solving the Problem of Childhood Obesity Within a Generation. The report presents five priority areas: early childhood, empowering parents and caregivers, providing healthy food in schools, improving access to healthy foods in schools, and increasing physical activity. The early childhood recommendations address steps to reduce children’s obesity risk beginning before birth, including prenatal care, breastfeeding, and reducing screen time for very young children. Other approaches focus on children in early childhood settings, including increasing access to healthy food through the Child and Adult Care Food Program, increasing access to programs such as CCDBG and Head Start in which children receive these healthy foods, promoting healthy practices through licensing standards and Quality Rating and Improvement Systems, and encouraging physical activity. The report also highlights programs such as the Afterschool Meal Program that provide meals and snacks to children outside of the normal school day.
The full report is available at www.letsmove.gov/taskforce_childhoodobesityrpt.html
In March, NAEYC provided comments to the Task Force focused on early childhood. NAEYC’s comments are available at www.naeyc.org/files/naeyc/file/policy/federal/NAEYCChildhoodObesityComments.pdf
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