Policy & Advocacy

Arizona's Child Care and Development Fund state plan is now available!

The Office of Child Care (OCC) is pleased to release the PDF (Portable Document Format) copy of the approved FY 2016‐2018 Arizona CCDF Plan that became effective June 1, 2016 and the conditional approval letter. The Plan serves as the application for CCDF funds by providing a description of, and assurance about, the grantee’s child care program and all services available to eligible families. OCC asked States and Territories to write their Plans based on a reasonable interpretation of the Act, pending completion of a final regulation. States and Territories had the option to outline an implementation plan for one or all of the 26 new areas if the State/Territory was not yet able to certify compliance. Thus, these Plans are conditionally approved until each State/Territory fully implements all new requirements of the CCDBG Act of 2014. The OCC will partner with States and Territories to support and monitor the successful and timely implementation of all provisions of the Act. As provided for in the applicable statutes and regulations, the Lead Agency has the flexibility to amend their program at any time. All amendments must be submitted to OCC for approval within 60 days of the effective of the change.

To view, click on this link.

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July 8, 2016

Children's Champions Update

There is much to mourn this week (this month, this year). We don’t forget Orlando even as we grieve new deaths in Louisiana, Minnesota and Texas. As always in the wake of national grieving, there is fear, and there is love; there are calls for revenge and calls for peace; there is coming together and tearing apart. As early childhood educators, we must remain firm in our commitment to the core beliefs and values found in our code of ethics - values that include a fundamental and abiding respect for and appreciation of diversity in children, families and colleagues. At NAEYC, we believe in a vision in which all young children thrive and learn in a society dedicated to ensuring they reach their full potential. We know you share not only this vision but the belief that it is possible to achieve. For that, we thank you, and we recommit to our work, together.

NOTE: We wish we didn’t have to share this so often, but here are some resources NAEYC has compiled for educators and families about how to talk to young children about disasters, tragedies, and violence they learn about in the media.

We want you to know you all did great work in tough circumstances.
This week, the House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies marked up their FY 2017 appropriations bill, with an increase of $40 million for CCDBG and $141.6 million for Head Start. The spending caps were tighter in the House than they were in the Senate, but the increases you helped win for early learning were bigger. We know we need much more significant investments to deliver on the promise of these programs - but we also know that what you did and what you said mattered:   


We asked for…       

We got…

We got...

Child Care and Development Block Grant

An increase of $1.2 billion

An increase of $25 million

An increase of $40 million

Head Start & Early Head Start

An increase of $434 million

An increase of $36 million

An increase of $141.6 million

Preschool Development Grants

An increase of $100 million

Flat funding at $250 million

Flat funding at $250 million

So what's next? It's likely that the House and the Senate will come together to reconcile their differences and create a continuing resolution to keep the government open and funded, while they try to work out an "omnibus" spending bill that covers all the different appropriations bills. We'll keep you posted on what's moving forward and when.

In the meantime, while your elected officials are home in August for recess, it's a great time to reach out, in person or on the phone, so they remember that we are paying attention to their support for early childhood education! You can: (1) remind them that early childhood education is a critical investment; (2) thank them for the increases early childhood education received; and (3) FOR THE SENATE, encourage your Senators to use the House numbers as they move forward.  Thank you for all the work you've done so far - and keep it up!

May 2, 2016

Budget bills have been introduced in both the House and Senate, but there are not enough votes to adopt either chamber's proposals as they are currently written. This infographic gives an overview of the current budget bills.   A majority of both Republicans and Democrats along with Governor Ducey want a budget that does not include more cuts to public schools. They have spent two very long days at the Capitol but have not yet come to agreement on a new plan.

The budget is very solid for child safety.  It includes needed increases and also directs the Department of Child Safety to strengthen investments in prevention and in-home services to slow the growth in foster care.

KidsCare is missing from the current budget bills. There is a lot of support at the legislature for amending the budget before it is final to lift the freeze on KidsCare.  But many barriers remain.  Your advocacy on KidsCare and voices from all over the state have paved the way, and we are hopeful that KidsCare will make it into the final budget.This chart gives more detail on specific parts of the budget.

We’ll keep you up to date as things develop.

April 25, 2016

The country's "tough on crime" policies, with harsher prison sentences for offenders, have had a big impact on American families, including more than five million children whose parents are incarcerated. As a result of their parents' absence, these kids are more likely to experience poverty, homelessness, hunger and emotional distress. These effects can be lasting, even lifelong.

A new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, A Shared Sentence: The Devastating Toll of Parental Incarceration on Kids, Families and Communities, proposes solutions and calls for policies and practices that prioritize the needs of children whose parents are jailed, whether for short periods or long sentences.  In Arizona, 138,000 children are affected by mass incarceration. For these kids, having a parent behind bars can be as traumatic as abuse, domestic violence and divorce. Reform proposals should consider better solutions to the multiple problems facing the children of incarcerated parents. 

In this report you will find recommendations for how judges, community organizations, cities and state governments can:

  • Ensure children are supported while parents are incarcerated and after they return; 
  • Connect parents who have returned to the community with pathways to employment; and
  • Strengthen communities, particularly those disproportionately affected by incarceration and reentry, to promote family stability and opportunity

Click here to read the full text of the study.

April 7, 2016

The legislature is preparing to wrap up the 2016 legislative session, floating budget ideas around both the House and Senate. From what we know, KidsCare is not yet part of either chamber's budget proposal.

Here are two ways you can help:

1.  Urge your district representatives to do the right thing and include KidsCare in the state budget. Simply click on this link and you'll be directed to a pre-written message to email to members of the House and Senate.

2.  Attend a news conference with other members of the community at the State Capitol on Monday morning to show your support for KidsCare. The details are:

Monday, April 11, 2016
11:30 am
Arizona House of Representatives Lawn (look for the Cover Kids Coalition sign)
1700 W. Washington, Phoenix

Nearly 30,000 children are waiting for affordable health care. 

Thank you. 

February 17, 2016

New Analysis of Access to Child Care Subsidies, Head Start Finds Disparate Access by Race, Ethnicity, and State
Washington, D.C.—In a unique analysis released today, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) found that access to child care subsidies and Head Start  is sharply limited for all eligible children and even more so for particular racial and ethnic groups and in particular states.  Most striking is the low level of access that eligible Hispanic or Latino children have to child care subsidies, especially in some states including Mississippi, Oregon, South Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, and Tennessee.

CLASP’s brief, which presents a unique analysis of data reported to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by Head Start programs and state child care agencies, confirms very low levels of access nationally to all the programs because of the large gap between current investment and need.  Less than half of eligible preschool-aged children participate in Head Start, less than one in six eligible children receive child care subsidies funded through the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), and fewer than 5 percent of eligible infants and toddlers participate in Early Head Start (EHS).

Of great importance, CLASP’s analysis found distressingly low levels of access for particular groups of children:

  • Eligible Hispanic or Latino children have sharply lower access to CCDBG than eligible children of other races, ethnicities. While 13 percent of eligible children (ages 0-13) and 21 percent of eligible Black children receive child care assistance through CCDBG, only 8 percent of eligible Hispanic or Latino children get help.
  • Poor infants and toddlers are unlikely to access high-quality early childhood services through Early Head Start. No more than 6 percent of eligible children in any racial/ethnic group have access to Early Head Start.
  • While gaps in access to Head Start preschool exist, since only half of all eligible children have access, program access does not appear to be as significantly impacted by race/ethnicity.  Fifty-four percent of eligible Black children and 38 percent of eligible Hispanic or Latino children are served in Head Start preschool, with additional eligible Hispanic or Latino children served through the Migrant Head Start program.

January 4, 2016

Children's Champions - Five Resolutions for January 2016:
We think 2016 will be a banner year for early childhood education, so here are five things you can do to get it started off right! 
5. Register for NAEYC’s 2016 Public Policy Forum 
Join fellow NAEYC members in Washington, DC from February 28 - March 1, 2016! Your presence and perspective are critical, as we explore everything from electoral advocacy to policy that advances the profession. To learn more, please visit our Public Policy Forum webpage and to register, please contact your State Affiliate, who will provide you with an online registration link (note that the registration deadline is January 29). See you in February in Washington, DC! 
4. Join Early Ed for President 
Our nation is coming ever closer to electing a new leader - and it's our collective responsibility to make sure that all the presidential candidates promote the power of early learning on the road to the White House. Support the effort by donating $16 for 2016 - or, if you can't donate at this time, simply join our e-mail list and make sure you "support $16 for 2016 and Early Ed for President" to receive email newsletters and updates throughout the campaign. 
3. Go to a Public Meeting for Your State’s CCDF Plan 
The implementation of the Child Care and Development Block Grant is one of the most important opportunities we currently have to impact child care and early learning across the country. Children, families and educators need you to show up for them - and that means literally showing up for the public meetings being held in all states as they prepare to submit their FY 2016-2018 CCDF Plans to the Administration for Children and Families. Thanks to the Early Care and Education Consortium for collecting the dates of those meetings (some of which have happened already) and making them public here. Send an email to mhickey@ececonsortium.org to get on their list and stay up-to-date as new meetings are added. 
2. Read the Proposed CCDBG Regulations - and Share Your Thoughts 
Didn’t get to it over the holidays? We understand. They’re long. They’re also very important - and luckily for you, there’s still time to read them (although not much)! In case you missed it, the Administration for Children and Families released the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) for CCDF regulations, with changes that are designed to protect the health and safety of children in child care; help parents make informed consumer choices; and access information to support child development; provide equal access to stable, high quality child care for low-income children; and enhance the overall quality of child care and the early childhood workforce. We will be working, along with other organizations, to offer our members and Affiliates structured opportunities to learn more and share their thoughts on the proposed regulations over the next several weeks (so keep your eyes open), but if you’ve got burning comments or questions before then, please feel free to send an email to advocacy@naeyc.org anytime! 
1. Try One New Thing to Advance The Profession 
Maybe you feel comfortable sending emails, but you don’t like calling your representatives. Maybe you like calling, but you’ve never joined Twitter. Maybe you’re great on social media, but you’ve never attended a public meeting. Maybe you always attend public meetings, but you’ve never brought anyone new to the table. So let’s all make one final shared resolution: regardless of where we live and work, regardless of what our roles are, or how long we’ve been in the field, we commit, as advocates and champions, to try one new thing this month (i.e., make a phone call, join Twitter, attend a meeting, reach out to someone new) that advances our profession and moves us forward together. 
Happy New Year, everyone! Let’s make it great. 
P.S. Bonus action: Submit a proposal to present at NAEYC’s Professional Development Institute, which will be held from June 5-8, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. The theme is Early Learning at the Top of the Ticket - and the deadline for proposal submissions is tomorrow, January 5!