Continuing Resolution is Signed, Keeps Federal Government Funded through April 2017

12/12/2016

After last-minute action on Friday by the U.S. House and Senate, along with President Obama’s signature this morning, the federal government has a temporary spending bill that keeps the doors open for another 20 weeks, through April 28. The first “Continuing Resolution” (CR) for the federal Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17), which began October 1, 2016, expired on December 9. 

This temporary spending bill is the last action the current Congress took before adjourning for the year. The spending bill for the rest of FY17 (covering the period of April 29 to September 30), along with an FY18 bill, will be taken up by the newly elected Congress in the spring. Based on the proposals that Republican leaders in the House and Senate have made, those budgets could make deep cuts in core programs intended to address the needs of the 13.5 percent of Americans who live in poverty–woefully underfunding programs like Head Start, job training, and Pell grants that help low-income families, workers, and students. At the same time, Republicans will likely seek to sharply increase the budget for defense spending and reduce taxes for the richest Americans. As the new president and Congress act on the budget next spring, they must remember that investments in education, employment, young children, and anti-poverty strategies are crucial to America’s future. 

In the interim, CRs, which are used in the absence of an approved federal spending bill, typically continue the funding for discretionary programs at a rate or formula consistent with the previous fiscal year. This CR includes a 0.19 percent across-the-board cut, which is compounded by the fact that the FY16 budget was the lowest in a decade when adjusted for inflation—meaning that this latest CR represents a significant effective decrease. 

Specific examples of the consequences of temporary funding levels in the bill include the following:

  • Reducing current child care funding, which is already sharply inadequate, leaves states without the resources necessary to implement the critical improvements passed by Congress in 2014 to improve the health, safety, and quality of child care and to provide low-income working families with more stable child care assistance. Already, the number of children receiving child care funded through the federal Child Care and Development Block Grant program has fallen to a 16-year low, with just 1.4 million children being served in 2014, and more will surely lose access without new funding. 
  • Fewer workers will receive the skills training and postsecondary credentials they need to move toward better jobs, since this year’s funding level for adult education is more than 6 percent below the FY 2017 amounts authorized in 2014’s bipartisan reauthorization of the federal workforce development law. Moreover, current funding for key adult and youth employment and training is more than 3 percent lower than WIOA-authorized levels for next year. This would continue a decline in funding for these programs of more than 30 percent in real terms over the past 15 years.
  • Communities of color have been hit especially hard by federal disinvestment in key programs such as child care, workforce training, and Head Start. Youth of color, particularly out of school youth, simply don’t have the resources they need to succeed, and young children cannot get the start they need and deserve without help. With children of color soon to be half of all children—and already half of children under five—their success matters deeply to America’s future.

Our country can help offset the damaging prevalence of poverty and economic insecurity by making a strong commitment to addressing poverty. Such a commitment should start with the enactment next year of FY17 and FY18 spending bills that expand and invest in the crucial education, child care, safety net, and workforce development programs that help people get and keep a job, stabilize families, and promote success. In addition, policymakers must focus resources and attention on those who face the most barriers—children, youth, and families of color, immigrant families, and those whose opportunities are limited by pervasive poverty in their neighborhoods and communities. 

Unfortunately, the current statements of Congressional leaders suggest that the spring’s budget could reflect just the opposite priorities—tax cuts for the richest Americans and sharply eroded help for everyone else. CLASP intends to redouble efforts to ensure policymakers make the right decisions for those children, families, and individuals struggling to make ends meet. To that end, we are working closely with the Coalition on Human Needs on a variety of efforts, including this sign-on letter that the Coalition’s “Save for All” campaign will be sending in early January to the president and members of Congress. Hundreds of national, state, and local organizations have already taken the concrete step of signing on, and you may do so here

Source: CLASP

Brush Up on Oral Health: December 2016

December 2016

Choosing Healthy Drinks

  • Milk and Water Are Healthy Drink Choices
  • Many Drinks Have Added Sugar
  • Helping Parents Make Good Drink Choices

Cook’s Corner: Cheesy Snowmen  

Did You Know?

To keep children healthy, the American Heart Association recommends the following:

  • Children under age 2 should not consume foods with added sugar.
  • Children ages 2 to 18 should consume no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar a day.

Source: The National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness

Available at: https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/health/oral-health/PDFs/brushup-news-201612.pdf

Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES)

The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is proposing to collect data for a new round of the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES). Featuring a new “Core Plus” study design, FACES will provide data on a set of key indicators, including information for performance measures. The design allows for more rapid and frequent data reporting (Core studies) and serves as a vehicle for studying more complex issues and topics in greater detail and with increased efficiency (Plus studies).

The FACES Core study will assess the school readiness skills of Head Start children, survey their parents, and ask their Head Start teachers to rate children’s social and emotional skills.

Source: Office of Head Start

Available at: http://hsicc.cmail20.com/t/ViewEmail/j/117A8F86594F1FFD/2ABD24CF6E74000C0F8C96E86323F7F9

OHS Head Start Program Performance Standards Talk

Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016

2–3:30 p.m. EDT

Register Online Now!

Join the Office of Head Start (OHS) in this conversation for Head Start grantees’ management and staff members, T/TA System staff, and other stakeholders about the newly released Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS).

Join us this month to discuss supporting implementation of the HSPPS, as well as hot topics we are hearing from the field.

Learn more about:

  • Update on background checks
  • Using the Program Management and Fiscal Operations (PMFO) Management Systems Wheel as a guiding tool
  • Developing an HSPPS implementation process utilizing the four stages of the Implementation Science Framework
  • Suggested planning processes
  • The role of the governing body and Policy Council
  • Task Functional teams

Before the webcast, please read HSPPS Sections 1302.70, 1302.72, 1302.101(b), and 1302.103.

Who Should Participate?

The webcast will benefit an array of audience members, including Head Start and Early Head Start executive leadership, program directors, managers, and staff members. Please call in with other colleagues in your organization where possible.

How to Register

Select the link to register: https://goto.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1125845

This registration is only valid for the webcast on Dec. 14.

Space is limited. Sign up today to attend the session from your office or conference room. You will receive a confirmation email with instructions on how to join. The webcast will be accessible via computer, tablet, and other Internet-connected devices. Phone access is available for those requiring alternative accommodations. Send an email to webcasts@hsicc.org to receive telephone access.

Save the Date!

Register early for next month’s OHS Head Start Program Performance Standards Talk on Wednesday, Jan.18, 2016: https://goto.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1125886.

Questions?

Send your questions to webcasts@hsicc.org.

Webinar: Sesiones sobre el aprendizaje en dos idiomas

 

12/9/2016

11 a.m. y 5 p.m. EST 

¡Inscríbase en línea ahora!
El Centro Nacional de Desarrollo, Enseñanza y Aprendizaje en la Primera Infancia (NCECDTL, sigla en inglés) se complace en presentarles dos sesiones sobre el aprendizaje en dos idiomas. Estas sesiones se transmitirán en vivo desde la Conferencia Anual de ZERO TO THREE (CERO A TRES). La primera sesión explora la evaluación de los niños que aprenden en dos idiomas (DLL, sigla en inglés), y la segunda se enfoca en la implementación de la metodología planificada para el lenguaje (PLA, sigla en inglés) con el fin de apoyar el desarrollo del idioma de todos los niños.

Las sesiones:

  • 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. EST: Las evaluaciones funcionales y los niños que aprenden en dos idiomas
  • 5–6:30 p.m. EST: La construcción de los cimientos para las prácticas de lenguaje en aulas de niños que aprenden en dos idiomas. ¿En qué consiste y qué valor tiene la Metodología planificada para el lenguaje?

¿Quién debería participar?

Estas sesiones beneficiarán a gerentes de educación, directores y gerentes de centros de Head Start, Early Head Start, programas Head Start para migrantes y trabajadores de temporada y programas Head Start para indios estadounidenses y nativos de Alaska; proveedores de cuidado infantil; y todo el personal que trabaja directamente con niños que aprenden en dos idiomas.

Cómo inscribirse:

La participación en las sesiones en vivo son gratis. Seleccione este enlace para inscribirse: https://ztt.digitellinc.com/ztt/live/3

¿Preguntas?

Si tiene preguntas, contáctese con NCECDTL por correo electrónico al ecdtl@ecetta.info o llame gratis al 1-844-261-3752.

Webinar: Place and Race Matter: Head Start and CCDBG Access by Race, Ethnicity, and Location

12/14/2016

Time: 1 – 2pm EST

Join the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and diversitydatakids.org for a webinar discussing racial, ethnic, and native disparities in Head Start and child care access at the state and neighborhood levels. Featuring original analyses from CLASP and diversitydatakids.org, the webinar will highlight key data and provide a range of policy recommendations to ensure equitable access to federal early childhood programs. High-quality child care and early education can build a strong foundation for young children’s healthy development; however, many low-income children, cannot access to early childhood opportunities. While these gaps in access to child care and early education are widely recognized, less is understood the role of race and ethnicity. This webinar will present CLASP’s analysis of Head Start, Early Head Start (EHS), and the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) administrative data, as well as a diversitydatakids.org neighborhood-level analysis of Head Start, showing how access differs based on race, ethnicity, and nativity. Presenters will include: -Stephanie Schmit, Senior Policy Analyst, CLASP -Dr. Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, Project Director, and Erin Hardy, Research Director, diversitydatakids.org -Additional speakers to be announced.

Source: CLASP and diversitydatakids.org

Register at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/534786341756134657 

Compliance Date for Head Start Background Check

12/6/2016

The Office of Head Start will delay the compliance date for background checks procedures described in the Head Start Program Performance Standards final rule that was published in the Federal Register on September 6, 2016. We are taking this action to afford programs more time to implement systems that meet the background checks procedures and to align with deadlines for states complying with background check requirements found in the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014.

Source: Federal Register

Available at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/12/06/2016-29183/head-start-program

The National Research Conference on Early Childhood (formerly known as Head Start’s National Research Conference on Early Childhood) Save the Dates!

July 11–13, 2016
Washington, DC

The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE), in conjunction with the Office of Head Start (OHS), is pleased to announce the Administration for Children and Families’ (ACF) National Research Conference on Early Childhood. This announcement includes details about the conference, and a call for presentations.

This conference was formerly known as the Head Start National Research Conference. Since 1991, Head Start’s National Research Conference on Early Childhood has highlighted cutting edge research on low-income families with young children. In order to welcome participation from researchers, practitioners, and policymakers across early childhood fields, the conference is now called the Administration for Children and Families’ National Research Conference on Early Childhood.

About the Conference

Head Start is the nation’s leader in early childhood care and education and a center of innovation. OHS sponsors this conference to identify and disseminate research relevant to young children birth to age 8 and their families. There is particular focus on research that considers low-income families with young children. The conference encourages collaboration across the early childhood research field in order to build upon the evidence base for policy and practice.

This year’s theme is increasing access to high-quality early care and education experiences for low-income children from birth through early elementary school. Over the past decade, there has been substantial public investment at the national, state, and local levels. This support is aimed at improving the quality of early care and education. There also has been an effort to expand these services, including in Head Start, child care, home visiting, and pre-kindergarten.

It is clear that quality in early childhood has many components. It involves workforce training, practice improvement, and curriculum development. It requires accountability, measurement development and progress monitoring. Quality also includes parenting supports and parent engagement. The development of an evidence base to feed into continuous quality improvement is critical to the success of children, families, and programs.

Call for Presentations: Due Dec. 18 (extended from Dec. 9th)

The Conference Program Committee invites proposals for posters, symposia, and poster symposia. Presentations may discuss recent research (published or unpublished) or synthesized findings. The online submission system opens the week of Nov. 16, 2015. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015.

Research presented at the 2016 Conference will address knowledge gaps across service delivery systems. Sessions will be consistent with the theme. They will focus on improving understanding of the quality factors that impact programs and families and the evaluation of approaches for improving quality. The sessions also will address obstacles and solutions regarding families’ access to high-quality care and education. Methods and measurement development for examining quality and family decision-making regarding early childhood education also will be in line with this theme.

See the Call For Presentations for more details about the theme and guidance for submitting a proposal. Learn more about the conference and what is required to submit a proposal online at www.rcec2016.net.

For general submission questions or details on how to submit a paper application, contact Jennifer Pinder at 1-800-503-8442, ext. 7054, or by email at rcec2016@impaqint.com.

For More Information

Select the link to review materials from previous conferences: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/events/head-start-national-research-conferences

Check back often for more details about this event and the call for presentations. We look forward to seeing you in July!

Head Start Professionalized the Early Childhood Education Workforce

10/2015

By Sarah Merrill

Did you ever wonder why you need specific professional qualifications to work with young children? Head Start has always known the importance of having qualified, well-trained staff in working with young children. Back in the 60’s, our early Head Start leaders worried that “the goals of … the fullest social, emotional, physical and intellectual development of the child can be missed, sometimes hindered, because the teacher in charge is not qualified” (Project Head Start, 1967, The Staff for a child development center, pp. 8-9). In fact, in 1967 they advised that “ideally teachers in Head Start Programs should be graduates of a four-year college program with a major in Nursery Education, Nursery-Kindergarten Education, or Early Childhood Education” (p. 3) and have the “the personal qualities … [which] are fully as important as her training” (p. 4).

Source: Office of Head Start, Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center

Available at: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/hs/news/blog/education-workforce.html

Supervision and Transitions: ACF-IM-HS-15-05

09/18/2015

INFORMATION MEMORANDUM

TO: Head Start and Early Head Start Grantees and Delegate Agencies

SUBJECT: Supervision and Transitions

INFORMATION:
The Office of Head Start (OHS) asks all Head Start and Early Head Start program leaders to remind staff to prioritize children’s safety by providing continuous supervision. Governing bodies, Tribal Councils, Policy Councils, directors, and managers must create a culture of safety within their programs. Everyone shares responsibility for keeping children safe. Grantee staff must ensure that “no child will be left alone or unsupervised while under their care” (45 CFR1304.52 (i)(1)(iii)).

OHS has received reports about children being left unsupervised inside and outside of Head Start programs, as well as on playgrounds and buses. These incidents are a grave concern for programs, OHS, and the families who entrust their children to Head Start care. Leaving children unsupervised increases the risk of serious injuries and emotional distress. Children who leave the Head Start facility alone may be exposed to further danger.

At the regional level, OHS responds to these incidents by contacting the grantee to gather information regarding the context, circumstances, and follow-up actions, including whether the incident has been reported to the appropriate licensing entity. Regional Offices also request copies of relevant documentation, such as communication with the family of the child or children involved, licensing reports and investigations where applicable, written procedures and related training records, and actions taken by the program in response to the incident.

On the local level, OHS recommends that each grantee’s governing body (the Tribal Council in Region XI) and Policy Council work with program management to develop and communicate an agency-wide child supervision plan. The plan should build a culture of safety by ensuring that each person understands his or her role in keeping all enrolled children safe, and that child-to-staff ratios are maintained at all times.

Active supervision is a set of strategies for supervising infants, toddlers, and preschool children in the following areas: grantee, delegate, and partner classrooms; field trips and socializations; family child care homes; and on playgrounds and school buses. Grantees should include action steps to implement each active supervision strategy in their child supervision plans. These six strategies work together to create an effective approach to child supervision.

  • Set up the environment to supervise children at all times. This may include developing and posting a daily classroom schedule for children, teachers, substitutes, and volunteers to follow that helps to keep the day predictable. The height and arrangement of classroom furniture and outdoor equipment should be considered to allow effective monitoring and supervision of children at all times.
  • Position staff to see and reach children at all times. Plans can include staffing charts that identify the teacher responsible for each area or activity and his or her duties during transitions before and after an activity.
  • Scan the environment, including assigned areas of the classroom or outdoor area, and count the children. Staff need to communicate with each other so everyone knows where each child is and what each one is doing. This is especially important in play areas and on the playground when children are constantly moving.
  • Listen closely to children and the environment to identify signs of potential danger immediately. Listen to and talk with team members, especially when a staff person or a child has to leave the area, so that staff knows where other staff are located.
  • Anticipate children’s behavior to give children any needed additional support, especially at the start of the school year and during transitions. Children who wander off or lag behind are more likely to be left unsupervised.
  • Engage and redirect when children are unable to solve problems on their own. Offer different levels of assistance according to each individual child’s needs.

Transitions are often the most challenging times to supervise children. To prevent children from being left unsupervised, program plans should include specific strategies for managing transitions throughout the day, such as when children arrive, leave, or move from one location to another within a center. Some examples may include:

  • Develop specific plans for regular routines, such as drop-off and pick-up times, including staff assignments (who will monitor the door, etc.).
  • Ensure teachers, teachers’ aides, and volunteers know when transitions will take place and are in position to provide constant supervision.
  • Discuss how the team will adjust to maintain appropriate adult-to-child ratios at all times, including when a teacher needs to leave the room.
  • Ensure parents understand their responsibilities during drop-off and pick-up of their child, and be alert to and communicate potential child wanderings as needed.
  • Limit the amount of time children are waiting in line to transition.
  • Reaffirm to children what adults expect during transitions.
  • Include plans for irregular times, such as when a center closes early due to weather or an outside door is open to allow the delivery of supplies.

Programs should report incidents of unsupervised children to the Regional Office of Head Start within three days of the incident, including, where applicable, any reports made or information shared with child welfare agencies, state licensing bodies, and parents. Regional Offices will provide technical assistance, as appropriate.

Programs are busy, active places. Head Start grantees that develop and use child supervision plans include roles for everyone to create a culture of safety where children can learn and grow.

Please contact your Office of Head Start Regional Office for more information on child safety, active supervision, and transitions.

/ Blanca E. Enriquez /

Blanca E. Enriquez
Director
Office of Head Start

Source: Office of Head Start

Available at: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/standards/im/2015/resour_im_005_091815.html

Available in Spanish at: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/Espanol/IMs%20en%20español/2015/resour_ime_005e_091815.html