The National Governors Association's Center for Best Practices recently released a new issue brief, State Early Childhood Advisory Councils: An Overview of Implementation across the States (December 2011), which discusses the importance of Early Childhood Advisory Councils (ECACs), their evolution in recent years, their priorities and activities, how they are structured across different states, and next steps for aligning their work with other state efforts to coordinate services for young children.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Public Health Association (APHA), and the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education (NRC) recently released the 3rd edition of Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards; Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs (updated as of January 2012). These national standards provide the most current information on quality health and safety practices and policies that should be followed in early care and education settings. Chapter 8 is dedicated to children with special health care needs and disabilities. An HTML version of the Standards is also available.
This week, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released a new publication, Starting Strong III: A Quality Toolbox for Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) (2012). The Quality Toolbox looks at what defines quality and describes five policy levers that can enhance quality in ECEC. The online version includes a web page with examples of approaches used by governments to improve ECEC within their country, as well as links to websites, reports, frameworks, guides, training videos, and brochures that have been categorized by the five levers of the toolbox.
The OECD, a collaborative organization with 34 member nations, aims to provide a forum for governments to share experiences and seek solutions to common problems.
A new annual report from the National Center on Family Homelessness shows that more than 1.6 million children (or one in 45 children) are homeless annually in America, an increase of 38% during the years impacted by the economic recession (2007-2010). America's Youngest Outcasts 2010: State Report Card on Child Homelessness (December 2011), ranks the 50 states from best (1) to worst (50) and offers recommendations for state and federal governments to help support families with young children who are at risk or currently experiencing homelessness.
There will be a free webinar overview about the findings in this new report on February 2, 2012 from 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. EST. Learn more and register for the webinar online.
A recently updated issue brief from First Focus looks at the economic well-being of children during the recession using three state-by-state indicators: children with an unemployed parent, children receiving nutrition assistance benefits, and child poverty. The brief shows many families have not yet recovered from the recession and conditions are not yet improving for children in the most vulnerable families. To learn more, see The Recession's Ongoing Impact on America's Children (December 2011), by Julia Isaacs of the Brookings Institute.
The National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB) has created a new Web site, All Children Can Read, designed to provide information and resources to state deaf-blind projects, teachers, family members and related service providers interested in beginning or enhancing literacy instruction for children who have combined vision and hearing loss and children with other complex learning challenges. It contains sections on Early Emergent Literacy and Emergent Literacy. NCDB is funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP).
The Harvard Family Research Project recently published resource guide on engaging and supporting families with young children to help support states that recently received Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTTT-ELC) grants, as well as other states, districts, and local programs interested in expanding their family engagement work. Family Engagement in Early Education: A Resource Guide for Early Learning Challenge Grant Recipients (2012) aligns with the three family engagement areas highlighted in the RTTT-ELC criteria and includes two additional areas that are important to programs' family engagement efforts.