Topics: Health & SafetyContinue Reading
The ways that Dr. Lynette M. Fraga will leave her mark on Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) are innumerable. As we think about Lynette’s departure as CEO on January 11, 2023, many of us are reflecting on the moments, experiences and inspirational words she has shared that will stick with us. A personal favorite among her familiar quotes is, “What’s the art of the possible?”
As Lynette shared at CCAoA’s 2022 Leadership Institute, she first came across this phrase from the iconic book, From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early ChildhoodDevelopment, which referenced early childhood intervention as “…an individualized strategy designed to increase the probability of a desired outcome, and not as a developmental panacea for all children under all circumstances. It is the ‘art of the possible’, based on the science of early childhood development.”
You may have noticed news about increased rates of sickness among young children. In particular, there have been increased rates for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza (flu) and COVID-19, as COVID-19 prevention efforts have shifted away from using masks and many people are spending more time in settings with more people than they had over the last couple of years. This has left us with increased rates of illness and hospitalization among young children. Child care programs are experts in disease prevention and have led the way in implementing disinfection and handwashing and monitoring children for illness. It is more important than ever to continue efforts to reduce transmission of illness in child care settings.
Child Care Aware® of America launched the Enhancing Preparedness and Response Capabilities for Early Learning Providers, Families, and Children project in 2019 to assist a group of Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) agencies within a 10-state Midwest area with increasing the likelihood that child care providers, families, communities, and the CCR&Rs themselves are better prepared for disasters. This project, which concluded in 2021, was the second phase of a larger initiative that began in 2016. Through this multi-year work, CCR&Rs strengthen their ability to serve as resilience hubs that reduce, and possibly prevent, the suffering of people affected by disasters—especially those most vulnerable. This work, focused on both the local and state level, has amplified the voice of child care and the strength of CCR&R agencies who are building local resilience, relationships, and expertise before, during, and long after a disaster occurs.
Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) comes up for renewal every five years as an opportunity for Congress to examine the current law and make any improvements to the federal nutrition programs. The current law, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-296), expired in 2015. When a reauthorization is delayed, Congress usually includes funding to maintain the programs as-is through the annual appropriations process, which allows them to continue to operate. However, this means we are about seven years overdue for changes to be implemented to strengthen federal child nutrition programs.