Although Punxsutawney Phil called for six more weeks of winter earlier this month, Washington, DC seems to have other ideas. Following a series of very spring-like days, even the trees have started to bud. As we (hopefully) welcome an early spring with open arms, we are excited to share a number of exciting events and initiatives, including the Child Care Aware® of America Policy Summit in April. Most notably this month we celebrated CCAoA’s 30th anniversary. For 30 years, Child Care Aware® of America has worked to improve affordability, accessibility, development, and learning of children in child care. Although CCAoA technically celebrated its 30th anniversary on February 23, we will host a kickoff celebration at the Policy Summit in April with celebrations continuing throughout the year. We invite you to join us for the celebration at Policy Summit in April. Look for exciting 30th anniversary news starting April 24.
Below are some additional highlights from February.
Around the Country
Next month’s VROOM and Beyond: An Ambassador Convening actively illustrates our key partnership with the Bezos Family Foundation. CCAoA is committed to strengthening the collaboration among the CCR&R VROOM Ambassador agencies by sharing VROOM initiatives and refining their implementation strategies currently in place for launching VROOM in CCR&R communities nationwide. We will bring all the CCAoA Ambassadors to the Bezos Family Foundation offices in Seattle for a set of active and engaging work sessions reflecting on VROOM implementation. Ambassadors will also have an opportunity to tour the I-Labs research facility at the University of Washington where they will engage in meaningful conversations with the researchers and meet the infamous MEG, the magnetoencephalography machine at the Brain Research facility. Over the three days of reflective and interactive work sessions, the Ambassadors will learn more about the science research behind VROOM, scrutinize all CCAoA VROOM initiatives, explore their unique CCR&R VROOM implementation activities, articulate lessons learned, and work together on potential transition strategies that define VROOM Beyond and best strategies to expose the CCAoA membership to VROOM.
The EFMP Respite Care Team conducted training for the Navy EFM Respite Care partner agency staff in Baltimore February 26 - March 1. Twenty-five partner agency staff participated in the training, which included updates from Navy headquarters staff and the results of the 2016 Navy EFM Respite Care annual survey. The group also received training on helping children and youth develop coping skills and positive behavior support.
The Child Care Aware® of America Policy Summit is scheduled for April 23-25, 2017 and will be held at the Washington Court Hotel on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. This event addresses policy, practice, and the future of the early childhood field. The Policy Summit will engage professionals in the field and our Child Care Works grassroots advocates and provide information on policy that informs, educates, and assists attendees in building their policy strategies. Sessions will cover action items around discussing public policy as well as legislation and regulations with policymakers across the local, state, and federal levels. The event will feature engaging sessions, including opening plenary speaker Paul Schmitz, CEO of Leading Inside Out, who will share his insight and expertise on how everyone in their community is a leader in their own way, and how these leaders have a huge impact on social change. Finally, the Policy Summit will include our annual Day on the Hill event, giving child care advocates an opportunity to put the skills they have learned into action, meet with their Congressional representatives, and position child care initiatives at the forefront of the political conversation. Explore the preliminary Policy Summit program for more information on event sessions. Learn more and register today!
The Children’s Leadership Council (CLC) has announced the appointment of Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D., CCAoA’s Executive Director, as Chair of the organization’s Board of Directors. The CLC is a coalition of leading policy and advocacy organizations that are working every day to improve the health, education, and well-being of children and youth in order to prepare them for school, work, and life. The CLC supports investments needed across the age spectrum from birth to young adulthood, and across the issue spectrum, including: children's health; early care and education; prevention, early intervention and treatment for vulnerable children; youth development; and economic support for children and families to ensure that children's basic needs of food, clothing and shelter and economic stability are met.
We would like to congratulate CCAoA member Michael Olenick, President and CEO of the Child Care Resource Center, on being appointed a community commissioner for the recently launched Speaker’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Early Childhood Education. The commission’s goal is to develop solutions to improve results for California’s youngest learners and their families. The commission will be tasked with identifying ways to create a more sustainable early learning system and update an outdated funding plan that has been unable to meet the demand for child care access in California. The commission will enable the Assembly to find ways to improve the state’s early learning system, and realize those improvements through policy and budget decisions.
ICYMI: February in the News
The Family and Community Engagement Team has completed its RFP review for the Family Voices, Quality Choices (Kellogg funded) project. We had a total of 17 applicants for two opportunities. Applicants were rated independently by five raters. The two chosen applications were Child Care Aware® of Kansas (Salina, KS) and Child Care Services Association (Durham, NC). These two locations will have an opportunity to pilot a new suite of child care resource and referral consumer information resources. The consumer information resources were developed out of focus groups with family members, a parent poll, and key informant interviews with CCR&R and health and human service professionals conducted during the latter part of 2016.
The Research Team launched the annual survey to states on February 13 and held an informational webinar for state data contacts on February 15. This annual survey is critical to the production of the annual Child Care in America: State Fact Sheets and Parents and the High Cost of Child Care report.
Our Emergency Preparedness Team continues their work in helping to build resilient communities that can quickly respond to and recover from disasters. This month the team conducted a train-the-trainer workshop for staff at Child Care Aware® of Minnesota. Twenty-seven trainers (approved by the Minnesota Center for Professional Development) are now ready to implement the training on recognizing hazards and using leading practices to create and/or revise their child care emergency plan. With the help of the three pilot communities, training materials and resources are now being translated into Spanish. These materials will be available soon on our website, childcareprepare.org.
On February 1, at the request of the National Indian Child Care Association (NICCA), the Public Policy Team provided a legislative update and outlook for 2017 to NICCA’s Board of Directors. The presentation focused mostly on the Federal budget. On February 13, members of the Team also met with representatives from Council for a Strong America to discuss the possibility of working together on appropriations and child care/tax issues. CCAoA also recently introduced a new webpage on tax credit legislation that covers the Trump administration’s child care proposed plan, the Promoting Affordable Child Care for Everyone (PACE) Act of 2017, and child tax credit/earned income tax credit information.