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Strong Foundations For Our Youngest Children

BUILDing Strong Foundations

BUILD Initiative Blog



As 2017 is coming to a close, the BUILD Initiative decided to check in to see how it is going. In states with well-organized advocates and leaders who are building strong coalitions and developing a focused agenda, some focus on early learning is seen. Let’s take a closer look at Connecticut and New Jersey.

If we believe that the federal budget is a reflection of our values and priorities as a nation, then we may soon look like a nation that cares little about the future of our most defenseless children.

Find out the latest in racial equity, family support, and early learning news from BUILD Initiative.

Catch up on your reading this week! BUILD Initiative shares the latest on family support, equity, immigration, systems building, and early learning.

While the immediate threat of an Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal has passed, it’s safe to assume that it’s only a matter of time before the GOP attempts another effort to reduce health care coverage. As the administration endeavors to cut corners and limit access to equitable healthcare, our nation’s poorest children and families are at risk of losing health care coverage. The most recent GOP ACA-replacement, the Graham-Cassidy bill, would have jeopardized coverage for the nine million children protected by the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which has not received renewed funding despite a September 30 deadline for Congress to take action on the policy.

Catch up on your reading this week! BUILD Initiative shares the latest early learning, QRIS, immigration and systems building news.

We started our evacuation in a veritable clown car at the crack of dawn: Mom, Dad, a grumpy toddler strapped into a carseat, a dog who uses a wheelchair to get around, and three cats. We were prepared to make the 17-hour trip to NoVa as quickly as possible - we’d done it countless times before. The evacuation route for Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas is, unsurprisingly, straight up I-95. After hours of gridlock, and overnight stops in Savannah, GA and Florence, SC, we finally made it home - THREE days later. Thankfully, in the end, the storm was weaker than what we had prepared for and my parents’ home is relatively undamaged. The drive was really tough - especially for Dad and toddler - but we certainly survived. At no point did I feel that we should have just stayed in Miami.

Facilitating with an emphasis on community seems well-suited to early childhood professionals, whose work requires a focus on family. Throughout the year, my colleagues at BUILD, and all our external partners for that matter, facilitate or participate in countless meetings. Whether in person, by phone, or over the Web, we frequently find ourselves gathered around the shared belief that improvements must be made to the current early childhood system if all children are to receive the quality care and education they deserve and to enjoy healthy child development.

Find out what we're reading at BUILD Initiative this week and catch up on your equity, health equity, early learning and QRIS news.

If only the violence, racism, and anti-Semitism against which thousands protested in Charlottesville last weekend were unimaginable in the United States. Unfortunately, the weekend’s occurrences were just a more visible display of everyday reality in the US. The same (often less overt) vitriol, hate, and violence have marred our country throughout its history, met at each step forward by many of us who have been blocked from opportunity, including Blacks, Jews, Latinos, immigrants, women, and the LGBT community. As the author observes in this Washington Post article with regard to Ferguson, Charlottesville is just “the latest outbreak of white rage.”

Find out what we're reading at BUILD and catch up on your equity, health, early learning, QRIS and systems news. Given recent events, this issue includes a more robust list of readings on equity.

Find out what we're reading at BUILD and catch up on your equity, health and early learning news.

Let’s start with the evidence. What do we know about the relationship between increasing education requirements and the racial demographics of early childhood teachers? Systematic research on this question is limited, but there are some interesting patterns. Data from center-based child care, a state pre-k program, and Head Start suggest a correlation between teachers’ increased education levels and some decrease in the proportion of African-American teachers, but an increase in Hispanic teachers. One study of individual Head Start programs found that increasing staff’s education levels to a bachelor’s degree was associated with a slight increase in White staff and modest decreases for both African-American and Hispanic staff.

Catch up on equity, family engagement/family voice, QRIS, health and early learning news with this week's research and articles!

Catch up on your health/mental health, equity and early learning news with some weekend reading.

Farm to early care and education (ECE) is a diverse set of activities and strategies that include the use of local foods in meals and snacks, gardening opportunities, and educational activities implemented to promote health and wellness and enhance the quality of the educational experience. Farm to ECE particularly addresses the need to influence eating behaviors and patterns and learning outcomes in the early years of life. Farm to ECE connects families, providers, and young children in all types of early care and education environments – Head Start, child care including family child care and out-of-school time, pre-K, and programs in K-12 settings -- to healthy local foods and to meaningful educational opportunities focused on nutrition, food, and agriculture.

Our weekly education news digest is ready for you! Find out what staff at BUILD are reading this week.

The need for high-quality early childhood education has never been greater. Decades of research have demonstrated the short- and long-term benefits for children and society of attending a high-quality program. Unfortunately, these programs are out of reach for many families. Tuition rates rival or exceed the cost of college, and high-quality child care spaces are so limited that many families find themselves in “child care deserts.”

The Office of Early Childhood (OEC) at the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) is very encouraged by the level of engagement in Colorado Shines - the state’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) - since its implementation in 2015, and is confident that participation will continue to grow.

Our weekly education news digest is ready for you! Find out what staff at BUILD are reading this week.