Policy & Advocacy ~ 2015





October 23, 2015

Children's Champions Update:

  • Raise Your Voice to Raise the Caps!
  • What Does NAEYC Think About…
    • Reauthorizing the Higher Education Act
    • Proposed Head Start Performance Standards
  • Secretary of Education Arne Duncan Steps Down
  • Introducing NAEYC’s new Senior Director for Public Policy and Advocacy

Raise Your Voice to Raise the Caps!
Congress is currently working on budget negotiations and funding priorities for Fiscal Year 2016. A key question is whether they will raise the caps on spending that limit how much is available for important programs such as CCDBG, Head Start, Title I, IDEA and other early learning supports. If they do not raise the caps by December 11, these and other critical programs could face funding cuts. We need you to raise your voice – and help us raise the caps! Please talk to your legislators about the need to end the sequester caps and make the necessary investments in early learning, which help us get the kind of high-quality systems and programs that we all want. Don’t know where to start or what to say? Here are some resources and talking points that can help – and don’t forget to check out these state fact sheets on implementing CCDBG from the National Women’s Law Center or this new polling data from the First Five Years Fund for additional ideas and more data.


What Does NAEYC Think About…

  • Reauthorizing the Higher Education Act

As Congress considers a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, we are presented with an important opportunity to support a strong early childhood education workforce that sets our nation’s young children on a path to success. NAEYC recently sent our recommendations to key Congressional offices, encouraging them to make connections with the Institute of Medicine report on “Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth through Age 8,” and reauthorize HEA in a way that helps improve the quality and stability of the early childhood education workforce. Our letter focuses on improving the clarity, accessibility and effectiveness of federal student aid; improving the quality and accessibility of educator and leader preparation programs under Title II; and preserving early childhood educator preparation program accreditation as a quality improvement system.

  • New Head Start Performance Standards

Earlier this summer, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services proposed major revisions to the Head Start Performance Standards, and invited comments from the public. After thorough and thoughtful review, NAEYC submitted feedback and suggestions to the Office of Head Start about the proposed revisions. Among our suggestions were recommendations to ensure alignment between the Head Start standards and other early childhood initiatives such as the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), as well as recommendations regarding staff qualifications, selection of enrolled children, increased length and number of days, and professional development.


Secretary of Education Arne Duncan Steps Down
On October 2, Arne Duncan announced that he intends to step down from his role as Secretary of Education in December 2015, after a seven-year tenure that included a significant focus on expanding opportunities for high-quality early learning. President Obama has selected current Deputy Education Secretary John King to take over as acting Secretary of Education for the remainder of his time in office. You can read more about John King’s perspective and his extraordinary life story here and, in his own words, here.


Introducing NAEYC’s new Senior Director for Public Policy and Advocacy
On September 28, Lauren Hogan joined NAEYC as the Senior Director for Public Policy and Advocacy. She is looking forward to working with all of you, strengthening the connections between research, policy and practice, while developing and leading NAEYC’s bi-partisan early childhood policy agenda with a focus on shared leadership, innovation, diversity and equity. Lauren previously served as the Vice President of Program and Policy at the National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI) in Washington, DC. She began her career working with an after-school program in Louisville, Kentucky and later served as the director of an early literacy and family support program in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She also served as a Rappaport Public Policy Fellow in the Department of Social Services in Boston, MA. Lauren earned a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a Master’s degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School. Make sure you say hello at this year’s Annual Conference in Orlando!

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October 8, 2015

A Bold Agenda for Tackling Child Poverty: Without urgent action, too many of America’s next generation will grow up in economic distress.

By Olivia Golden

The U.S. Census Bureau’s annual report on poverty, income, and health insurance, issued in mid-September, told a bad news/good news story. The bad news—beyond the stagnating incomes highlighted in news reports—is persistently high poverty for children and youth, especially for those of color. In 2014, 21.1 percent of children (including nearly one in four children under five) and 19.8 percent of youth ages 18 to 24 were living in households with incomes below the federal poverty line ($19,043 for a family of three). Counting “near poor” families with incomes less than 200 percent of the poverty line, more than four in ten children and young adults are living under conditions of economic distress, making it an all-too-typical experience for America’s next generation.

The good news is that—dire as these numbers are—ambitious public policies are proving effective. Most dramatically, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has reduced the number of individuals lacking health insurance by 8.8 million in a single year—the largest decline on record. Census data offers evidence of other policy successes as well, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and the Child Tax Credit (CTC). While the impact of these programs is not counted in the official poverty measure, an alternative measure also calculated by the Census Bureau, the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), shows that the EITC and CTC reduced child poverty by 7.1 percentage points in 2014, while SNAP reduced child poverty by 2.8 percentage points. While children are still the poorest under the SPM, the measure shows the clear positive effects of public policy.















Too often, the traditional American belief that large and ambitious public policies don’t work has served as a reason—or, perhaps, an excuse—to ignore the devastating consequences of child poverty. These successes change the playing field and should inspire an ambitious policy agenda to take aim at elevated poverty rates among America’s next generation.


The first pillar of this agenda should be to build on the success of the major safety net and work support programs such as Medicaid, SNAP, EITC, and CTC by sustaining their accomplishments and filling key gaps, such as availability to younger workers and uneven access across states.

The second pillar should be to address the consequences of low-wage work undercutting family life and economic security. This means passing and implementing a higher minimum wage, family and medical leave, earned sick days, and scheduling policies that give workers some measure of predictability.

While public programs supporting work—like nutrition assistance and tax credits—have gotten stronger, they have also faced a powerful head-wind from the growth of low-wage, low-quality jobs. Today, both poor and near-poor children typically live in families where someone is working, yet still can’t make ends meet. Nearly 70 percent of poor children and over 80 percent of low-income children live in families with at least one worker. And families’ economic distress comes despite sharply increased work by mothers in their children’s early years. In 1975, fewer than half of all mothers were in the labor force, and only about a third of mothers with a child under age 3, compared to 70 percent of all mothers and more than 60 percent of mothers with a child under age 3 in 2013.

Compounding this is the nature of low-wage work. Fully 40 percent of low-income parents have no access to paid time off, making it hard to care for infants or sick children. Unstable and nonstandard work schedules moreover prevent parents from securing stable child care. For young adults, living in poverty also makes it more difficult to access quality education and training programs, especially in high-poverty communities where these opportunities are particularly scarce.

The third pillar is to help parents (and low-income, low-skill youth and adults more broadly) move up to better, more stable, higher-paying jobs that can support a family, through improved pathways to postsecondary education and a career. In particular, public policy should fix the specific barriers affecting young adults and parents of color, such as the education and employment barriers in high-poverty communities that hold young adults back from college-readiness and access to good jobs.

The final pillar is to build a strong foundation for young children, promoting their own future success and stabilizing their parents’ lives through two-generational strategies like child care, which supports parents in both working and raising children. These strategies are especially critical given that nearly one in four babies and children under five are poor.

This new, robust agenda will address the lifelong consequences of childhood and youth poverty and the additional risks of poor conditions in low-wage work. Research shows that poor children—particularly those who are poor early in childhood and for longer periods of time—do less well in school, experience poorer health, and have worse employment and earnings records as adults.

This agenda would also serve to mitigate staggering racial, ethnic, and geographic disparities, particularly for Black and Hispanic children and young adults. Almost two in five (37 percent) Black children were poor in 2014, twice the rate for all children, as were almost one third (32 percent) of Hispanic children. By 2020, the majority of America’s children will be of color. For America to succeed, children of color must succeed.

The hidden good news in the Census Bureau’s report is that public policy can make bold change that positively affects the trajectories of vulnerable children, families, and individuals. Let’s build on the momentum of the ACA and take an ambitious, expansive, yet practical approach to addressing poverty.




October 6, 2015

Making a Difference for Poor Babies Using TANF: A Framework for States

By Elizabeth Lower-Basch and Stephanie Schmit

Americans overwhelmingly agree that children’s fate in life should not be determined by the circumstances in which they are born. But children born into poor families are at great risk of persistent poverty during their childhood. A growing body of evidence shows that poverty in early childhood is a grave threat to children’s long-term health, well-being, and educational success, with persistent and deep poverty causing the most damage. A new CLASP report, TANF and the First Year of Life: Making a Difference at a Pivotal Moment, suggests an innovative framework for thinking about Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) in the context of the first year of life, a vision for what a reformed TANF might look like, and concrete steps that states can begin taking right now to move their programs in this direction.
TANF offers an important, large-scale, high-impact opportunity to achieve two-generational goals for poor families with infants because:
  • TANF already reaches about a quarter million of the poorest families with babies or pregnant women, which is about half of deeply poor families with infants.
  • By its design, TANF is inherently a two-generational program, in that it is explicitly aimed at serving low-income families with children.
  • TANF is a block grant that gives states a great deal of flexibility in deciding which needy families to serve, what services to provide, and what to expect of recipients.
Today’s state TANF programs too often fall far short of their potential. Barriers to access, underfunded services, and work requirements that do not take the needs of infants into account hold parents back and make it harder for them to lift themselves and their babies out of poverty. For example, in 11 states, parents of infants under the age of one are subject to work requirements and could lose their entire family’s cash assistance benefit the first time they fail to meet work requirements.
But the growing evidence about the importance of the first year of life for children’s long-term success offers the opportunity to build a much stronger case than even just a few years ago for redesigning TANF programs to meet the developmental needs of infants in TANF families.
For the first time, the paper provides a framework grounded in the research about infant development and detailed data about TANF families and state policy options, to provide a wealth of practical ideas for state leaders. These ideas, organized into a package of foundational options for all states to consider, along with a set of more innovative options for states that have made strong progress on the foundations, include:
  • Removing barriers that prevent pregnant women and parents of babies from accessing cash assistance;
  • Redesigning work requirements to reflect the needs of infants and the realities of today’s low-wage labor market;
  • Ensuring access to quality child care; and
  • Building linkages to other programs and services, such as early childhood home visiting, health care, and nutritional supports.
Some states have already started to adopt more evidence-based and positive policies for TANF families. Minnesota repealed its family cap in 2013. Last year, Washington State set aside nearly $1 million from the TANF block grant to fund a pilot home visiting project targeting TANF recipients using evidence-based models already used in the state. The recent reauthorizations of the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) require states to make a number of changes to how they deliver the services funded by these programs, and how they relate to TANF. This makes it an opportune time for states to think holistically about how these multiple programs serve the same families, and to re-envision TANF as a true two-generational anti-poverty program.

Sept 2015 CAA header with red line

October 2, 2015

A Look at the Department of Child Safety's Budget Request for the Upcoming Year

The Department of Child Safety (DCS) recently submitted its funding request for fiscal year 2017, asking for a 21% increase of $105.9 million in appropriated funds (including the state general fund, federal TANF block grant and federal child care funds). DCS requests that $65.5 million of this increase begins during the current fiscal year with a supplemental appropriation to address system deficits.

In February when Governor Ducey appointed Greg McKay as Director of the Department, he declared a new day for child safety. Yet, we are still waiting for DCS to make a difference in children's lives: the agency can’t manage its workload, staff turnover is alarmingly high, too many children are being taken into foster care rather than staying with their families and getting in-home services, and there is far too much time and trauma before children are connected with safe and permanent homes.

The budget Governor Ducey signed for the current year in no way reflects the demands on the agency. Now it is up to the Governor and DCS leadership to make the case that they can target the dollars requested effectively to turn the trends around and get the crisis under control.

The top priority must be to safely reduce the skyrocketing growth in foster care which is overwhelming our system and unnecessarily traumatizing children. While foster care is clearly needed in some cases, research and experience around the country show that many children can be safe and have better long-term success if they remain with their families and have the support of in-home services.

The budget request forecasts DCS will have 18,700 children in the foster care system next year -- only slightly more than the current number. But it is unclear how DCS will actually reduce the growth in foster care. The legislature has tried to move in this direction over the past three years with more than $12 million in new funding added specifically for in-home services. Last fiscal year, however, DCS spent less than half of its in-home services funding and transferred the rest to foster care. When auditors surveyed 1,000 DCS staff members -- from top management to investigators -- most noted that in-home services were unavailable for them to use. As recently as last week, DCS Director McKay testified before the legislature about the many barriers preventing the agency from increasing the use of in-home services.

Now is the time for Governor Ducey to work with legislative and community leaders, child welfare experts and the private agencies throughout the state that provide services to families. Legislators and citizens across the state need to know how his administration will confront these barriers and clear the path to increased up-front services.

Attached is a summary of the funding increases in the general fund budget request – and onedecrease – submitted by DCS for next fiscal year, which begins in July.

September 14, 2015

Recently the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Education released a policy statement highlighting the importance of making sure that all young children with disabilities have access to inclusive high-quality early childhood programs. The policy statement sets a vision for States, local education agencies, schools, and public and private early childhood programs to strengthen and increase the number of inclusive high-quality early childhood programs nationwide. As the country continues to move forward on the critical task of expanding access to high-quality early childhood programs for all young children, it is imperative that children with disabilities be included in these efforts.

You can find more information about the policy statement here .

The policy statement and executive summary will also be posted on the Early Childhood Development Web site.


Children's Champions Update
September 2, 2015

  • Promote Expanded Investments in Child Care
  • New Polling on Voter Support of Early Childhood Education
  • Upcoming Twitter Storms
  • Congress Returning to Session

Promote Expanded Investments in Child Care
Across the country, the U.S. Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) has been teaming up with child care teachers to hold a series of events designed to spread the word about a resolution that “calls for high-quality, guaranteed, affordable and accessible child care for every American family and a strong child care workforce that is paid a living wage of at least $15 an hour and has a voice on the job.” Kicking off this series of events on July 28, 2015 at the U.S. Capitol, the CPC joined with parents, teachers, and advocates to introduce the resolution. Since then, events have been held in 5 major metropolitan areas across the country, with more to come.

You can join in and spread the word about this resolution by tweeting your support using #ChildCareForAll and #FightFor15, and by following @USProgressives and @FF15ChildCare on Twitter. You can also follow the SEIU Kids First Facebook page to keep up with new developments.

New Polling on Voter Support of Early Childhood Education
A recent poll released by Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) indicates that voters regardless of party affiliation universally agree upon the importance of early childhood education. Approximately 90% of voters surveyed in five swing states agreed that the first years of a child’s life are critical for learning, growth, and development. A strong majority also support increasing access to and improving the quality of early childhood education. To learn more about these poll results, review the SCAN memo here.

Upcoming Twitter Storms
Join the American Federation of Teachers Executive Vice President Mary Cathryn Ricker and other educators for a Twitter chat about the barriers to feeling like a professional in the field of education. This Twitter chat will be held September 3, 2015 at 7:00 PM EST using #AFTPRO.

Save the Children Action Network will also be hosting a Twitter chat on September 8, 2015 at 2:00 PM EST to raise awareness about the need for increased access to quality early childhood education so that more preschoolers can head to school ready to succeed. To participate, follow @SCActionNetwork on Twitter and share your support using #BackToSchool #EarlyEd and #InvestInKids.

Congress Returning to Session
After an August recess, Congress will be returning to session next week, which may include actions being taken on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization, as well as appropriations that may impact early childhood education funding. Further updates will be provided as actions are taken.




Children's Champions Update
July 28, 2015

  • NAEYC applauds Senate passage of ECAA
  • Senator Casey introduces Access to Healthy Foods for Young Children Act
  • White House and Dept. of Education to host Read Where You Are Day

NAEYC Applauds Senate Passage of Every Child Achieves Act
The National Association for the Education of Young Children applauds the U.S. Senate on its passage of the Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA) last week. The No Child Left Behind Act is outdated and this bill would make important improvements to the current system. Expectations for the skills and knowledge needed for success have risen in our country and globally. All children need access to high quality early childhood education to ensure that students are entering elementary school prepared rather than playing catch-up from the beginning. The Senate bill would provide important support for early childhood education, in addition to promoting better alignment between early childhood education and elementary education. However, there is more work to be done to align and promote high quality systems of early learning, and we hope that the conference process includes provisions to further encourage this alignment and systems-building at the state and local levels. As Senator Casey proposed, the law should also include significant federal investments in expanding access to high quality early childhood education for more children in order to meet the expectations set out by the Senate bill itself and by our global economy to ensure that students, particularly low-income students, are ultimately college and career ready by the end of high school. NAEYC stands ready to work with Congress and the Administration to ensure strong investments in high quality early childhood education opportunities and systems in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.


Senator Casey Introduces Access to Healthy Foods for Young Children Act
Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced legislation this week to increase access to healthy foods for low-income children in child care. Currently, food assistance is available through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) for children in communities where 50% of families are eligible for free and reduced lunches at school. This new legislation would lower the CACFP eligibility threshold to 40%, increasing the number of children who qualify. The bill would also allow for serving a third meal or snack at home- and center-based child care settings to children who attend more than 8 hours in a day, as well as increase the CACPF reimbursement rate for child care programs by 10 cents per child per meal. Additional provisions in the bill would increase the reimbursement rate for community sponsors of family child care programs by $5.00 per program per month, as well as provide a two- year fund for state agencies and the USDA to help successfully implement the CACFP program.


White House and U.S. Department of Education to host Read Where You Are Day
The White House and the Department of Education have announced a day of action to highlight the importance of reading during summer break so children will remain focused and ready to succeed in the next school year. Read Where You Are Day will take place on July 29, 2015. We encourage you to spread the word and encourage friends and family to read with young children! Learn more at www.ed.gov/readwhereyouare and spread the word on Twitter or Instagram with #ReadWhereYouAre (o #LeeDondeEstas en Espańol).

What Can I Do?

Click to Tweet about
"Read Where You Are" Day

Take to Twitter to spread the word about the White House and U.S. Department of Education's day of action to encourage summer reading!






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July 21, 2015

KIDS COUNT 2015 Data BookCLICK: AZ RANKS 46 OUT OF 50 STATES FOR CHILD WELL-BEING

THINK: Don’t our children deserve more?

IMPROVE: How can we improve our ranking?

Arizona has a new opportunity to improve this ranking. Due to a $20 million federal grant, plans are underway to expand high quality preschool programs for four-year-old children living in high need communities. With dozens of community partners, this could open the doors of educational success to more than 2,000 children each year.

This step to expand preschool participation and close some of our education gaps depends on sustaining financial support. The federal funding is already at risk, with a new U.S. House Appropriations subcommittee budget bill that eliminates the funding for this grant. Funding from the state, philanthropy, and business and community partners will be needed to sustain and grow the preschool classrooms.

We're counting on our Governor and state legislature to work together with us and expand early educational opportunities for a stronger workforce and a stronger community down the road.

26th annual KIDS COUNT® Data Book






Children’s Champions Update

July 16, 2015

Senate votes to approve Every Child Achieves Act (S.1177)
After over a week of debate, the Senate voted today to approve the Every Child Achieves Act (S.1177) by a vote of 81-17. If passed, the Every Child Achieves Act will reauthorize and amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). This bill also includes the Early Learning Alignment and Improvement Grants (ELAIG), which would provide funding for states to improve coordination, quality, and access for early childhood education.


The Strong Start for America’s Children amendment presented by Senator Bob Casey failed to pass the Senate, receiving 45 of the required 60 votes in favor. This amendment proposed providing access to high-quality, full-day preschool for low income four-year-old children; supporting Early Head Start and child care partnerships that help improve the quality of child care for infants and toddlers; supporting the needs of children with disabilities, and reinforcing the critical role of continued funding for the cost-effective, evidence-based home visiting program plays in the lives of children and their families.

The next step in getting the Every Child Achieves Act approved is for the Senate and House to pass a consensus bill to provide to the President.

NAEYC thanks Senators Murray and Alexander for their support of early childhood through the inclusion of the Early Learning Alignment and Improvement Grants in the bill.

Reminder: Conference call about this year’s early learning funding landscape
NAEYC has been invited by the National Women's Law Center (NWLC) to co-host a conference call to discuss this year’s early learning funding landscape. Please join us for this call on Monday, July 20, 2015 at 2:00 PM Eastern time to help inform your advocacy efforts on this critical issue.


Guest speaker, Joel Packer with the Committee for Education Funding, will discuss:

  • This year’s funding picture for early learning and other critical supports for children and families;
  • The connections between sequester cuts and caps on non-defense funding, as well as the importance of working to lift these caps; and
  • The impact of these funding issues on early learning now and in the future.
This call is being co-hosted by the National Women's Law Center (NWLC), the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), Child Care Aware, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), the Early Care and Education Consortium (ECEC), First Five Years Fund (FFYF), National Black Child Development Institute (NBDCI), National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC), and ZERO to THREE.

If you have not yet registered to join this conference call, you can do so here: “Funding for Early Learning: The Current Status and What We Need to Do Moving Forward.








July 16, 2015

Strong Start for America’s Children Amendment Calls for an Investment in Early Learning
By Rhiannon Reeves and Christina Walker

The Every Child Achieves Act of 2015, which would reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) for the first time since No Child Left Behind was passed in 2001, is currently being debated on the Senate floor. Earlier today, the Senate voted against Senator Bob Casey’s (D-PA) Strong Start for America’s Children Amendment, which would have created a five-year innovative federal-state partnership to expand and improve early learning opportunities for children across the birth-to-age-five continuum. More specifically, the amendment provided for:

  • Access to high-quality preschool by providing more than $30 billion in paid-for mandatory formula and grant funding to states—with a required state match—for high-quality, full-day preschool for four-year-old children from families earning below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.
  • Support for early learning quality partnerships that meet the high-quality performance standards of Early Head Start and blend federal funds to provide high-quality, full-day child care.
  • Promotion of increased funding to serve children with disabilities in early childhood settings by increasing the authorization level of programs for infants and toddlers with disabilities and of preschool grants for children with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
  • Maintained support for home visiting programs and called for their continuation through the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program.

High-quality early education experiences have been linked to school readiness and the lifetime employment and earning potential of low-income children. Despite these linkages, some of the most vulnerable low- and moderate-income families in this country still lack access to high-quality child care options for their youngest children. The Strong Start for America’s Children Amendment further proposed to advance high-quality, comprehensive early care and education systems across the country that ultimately support the goals of ESEA.

Last week, the House passed its version of the ESEA reauthorization bill called the Student Success Act, which differs from the Senate bill under consideration. If the Senate passes the Every Child Achieves Act, Congress will need to reach a compromise between the House and Senate versions through a Conference Committee; therefore, the provisions of a final ESEA bill would remain to be negotiated.

Earlier this year, CLASP released recommendations for improving ESEA by increasing access to high-quality early learning opportunities for young children and promoting provisions that help youth succeed academically and ensure they are ready for college and career. We urge Congress, in working toward a final bill, to bolster support for vulnerable young children and disadvantaged youth because reauthorization of this important law must protect and enhance robust opportunities for all students, particularly those most at risk. The introduction of the Strong Start for America’s Children Amendment was a good first step in that direction.





Children’s Champions Update
July 9, 2015

Important Conference Call on this Year’s Funding of Early Learning
Ensuring that young children have access to high-quality education is greatly dependent upon adequate funding. While Congress has made many positive steps this year, there is much still to be done. NAEYC has been invited by the National Women's Law Center (NWLC) to co-host a conference call to discuss this year’s early learning funding landscape. Please join us for this call on Monday, July 20, 2015 at 2:00 PM Eastern time to help inform your advocacy efforts on this critical issue.
Guest speaker, Joel Packer with the Committee for Education Funding, will discuss:
  • This year’s funding picture for early learning and other critical supports for children and families;
  • The connections between sequester cuts and caps on non-defense funding, as well as the importance of working to lift these caps; and
  • The impact of these funding issues on early learning now and in the future.
This call is being co-hosted by the National Women's Law Center (NWLC), the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), Child Care Aware, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), the Early Care and Education Consortium (ECEC), First Five Years Fund (FFYF), National Black Child Development Institute (NBDCI), National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC), and ZERO to THREE.