The Baby Monitor: Celebrating Infant-Toddler Policy in 2010!


The clock is winding down on the 111th Congress with early childhood
funding  still in jeopardy, and your Senators need to hear from you NOW
to protect  critical gains for our youngest children. Funding in the
American Recovery and  Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provided much needed
child care, Head Start, and Early  Head Start to 300,000 low-income
children, including 50,000 babies receiving EHS  services. Without
significant additional federal funding to continue these  gains, states
may have to make further cuts to child care.

This week is our last chance to make sure the Senate does the right
thing  and stands up for funding for early learning programs in an
omnibus  appropriations bill. Click here  for talking points and
instructions on how to contact your Senators!

Throughout 2010, ZERO TO THREE worked to keep you informed of important
and innovative policy developments happening throughout the country.
This past year included many historic ups and downs, but we all
successfully worked together to advance and preserve policies that
improve the lives of infants, toddlers, and their families.

This article highlights those policy achievements and recognizes the
role that we all play in supporting our nation’s youngest children. We
celebrate the accomplishments of Big Voices for Little Kids across the
country and look forward to continuing our work in 2011!

Thirteen States Have Adopted Michigan’s Infant Mental Health
Competencies and/or Endorsement for Workforce Development
In recent years, a number of states have taken steps to ensure that
professionals working with infants, toddlers, and their families are
knowledgeable and skilled in promoting social-emotional development.
Thirteen purchased licenses to use the Michigan Association for Infant
Mental Health’s (MI-AIMH) Infant Mental Health Competencies and/or its
Endorsement for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-Focused Practice
Promoting Infant Mental Health to help them achieve this goal. The
Competencies serve as the basis for the Endorsement, a workforce
development system that lays out education, training, work experience,
and reflective practice requirements for four levels of competency.
Professionals can earn endorsement at one of the four levels by
submitting a portfolio documenting fulfillment of the requirements and,
for levels three and four, completing an exam. Adoption of the MI-AIMH
Competencies and Endorsement enables states to support
relationship-based practice promoting infant mental health by
strengthening and recognizing professionals’ skills and experience.
Participating states are benefiting from Michigan’s leadership in the
field and continue to learn from each other as they implement these
evidence-based tools.

Read the full state policy update now!

Upcoming National Child Care Symposium
The National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies
(NACCRA) will hold their annual National Policy Symposium, "Change
the Conversation…Change Child Care," on March 15-19, 2011 in
Washington, DC. The Symposium will feature sessions on the latest
policy, research and practice developments in child care and CCR&R,
and offers a forum for policy analysis and discussion. Click here for
more information!

New Map Shows Recent Investment in Head Start by State
A new interactive map from the National Head Start Association (NHSA)
illustrates how recent investments transformed Head Start and Early
Head Start programs in each state and U.S. territory, specifically the
expansion in enrollment, quality improvements, and total jobs directly
created by the expansion.

New State Fact Sheets on Child Care Assistance Policies
The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) released state-by-state fact
sheets from their seventh annual report, State Child Care Assistance
Policies 2010: New Federal Funds Help States Weather the Storm, which
include information about income eligibility limits and reimbursement
rates. The report reveals that states had largely held off on major
cuts as of February 2010, largely due to help from American Recovery
and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds.

Updated Data on Children in Poverty Released
The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT Data Center has been updated
to include poverty data from the 2009 American Community Survey that
was released on September 28 by the U.S. Census Bureau. The Data Center
for the first time breaks down child poverty rates by congressional
district, highlighting those with the highest and lowest percent of
children living below the poverty line.

The Baby Monitor is going on vacation and will return with a new issue
on Tuesday, January 4, 2011. Happy Holidays from the ZERO TO THREE
Policy Center!



National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families
2000 M Street, NW, Suite 200
Washington DC 20036