BUILD Initiative Blog | What We're Reading - December 18
Strong Foundations For Our Youngest Children

BUILDing Strong Foundations

BUILD Initiative Blog



Equity and Racial Equity

At the time they enter kindergarten, many young children face gaps that exist - by income, race/ethnicity, language, and culture - in child outcomes and opportunities, as well as in system capacity and response. Closing these gaps is fundamental to the success of each child and of the United States as a nation. BUILD supports state leaders through tailored technical assistance, capacity building, and peer learning opportunities to support them in doing so. These resources can help inform your state's focus on equity in systems.

  • W.K. Kellogg Foundation: National Day of Racial Healing  The National Day of Racial Healing, January 16, 2018, is an opportunity for people, organizations and communities across the United States to call for racial healing. National Day of Racial Healing was established in 2017 by more than 550 leaders from around the United States to:
  1. Find ways to reinforce and honor our common humanity and create space to celebrate the distinct differences that make our communities vibrant.
  2. Acknowledge that there are still deep racial divisions in America that must be overcome and healed.
  3. Commit to engaging people from all racial, ethnic, religious and identity groups in genuine efforts to increase understanding, communication, caring and respect for one another.
  • ProPublica: Nothing Protects Black Women From Dying in Pregnancy and Childbirth   In recent years, as high rates of maternal mortality in the U.S. have alarmed researchers, one statistic has been especially concerning. According to the CDC, black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women’s health. Put another way, a black woman is 22 percent more likely to die from heart disease than a white woman, 71 percent more likely to perish from cervical cancer, but 243 percent more likely to die from pregnancy- or childbirth-related causes. In a national study of five medical complications that are common causes of maternal death and injury, black women were two to three times more likely to die than white women who had the same condition.
  • The Guardian: Why the UN is investigating extreme poverty … in America, the world's richest nation?   The tour, which kicked off on Friday morning, will make stops in four states as well as Washington DC and the US territory of Puerto Rico. It will focus on several of the social and economic barriers that render the American dream merely a pipe dream to millions – from homelessness in California to racial discrimination in the Deep South, cumulative neglect in Puerto Rico and the decline of industrial jobs in West Virginia.
Early Learning

Children must reach critical health and well-being benchmarks in order to thrive, be ready for kindergarten, and read at grade level by third grade. BUILD knows that families and communities are the primary source of this foundational support for children. We help state leaders create safe, healthy, nurturing early learning experiences for all children – to better support families and communities. This “whole-systems” approach includes an emphasis on: primary and preventive health care, early intervention, and quality early care and education. That is why  BUILD Initiative assists states in focusing on standards and assessment, including kindergarten entry assessmentearly care and education, with a focus on infant/toddler and pre-K services, programs and policies; and family, friend and neighbor care

  • Huffington Post: Congress’ Urgent Unfinished Business For Children   As if our fight to stop the profoundly unjust Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was not enough, we must all work hard to ensure there will be no unfinished business as Congress works to wrap up the Continuing Resolution before December 22nd with all the crucial help children and other vulnerable populations need. Entire groups of children and families’ well-being are at risk without action. The Continuing Resolution must include five years extended funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); home visiting support for infants and toddlers and other young children through the Maternal and Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting Program; support for Dreamers and future Dreamers, young people who came here as children and face risk of deportation; and desperately needed help for hurricane victims in Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. All are crucial for children and youths and have bipartisan support. These are not new needs or requests and Congress needs to act on them with urgency.
  • Chalkbeat: Life in a child care desert: What one Denver neighborhood can teach us about solving a national problem   Licensed child care — particularly for children 3 and younger — is hard to come by here. The problem is so pronounced, the neighborhood has won an unwelcome designation: Child care desert. Put simply, it’s a place where the number of small children far exceeds the number of licensed child care slots.
  • Illinois Action for Children: Cost of Child Care in Cook County in 2017   Child care is one of a family’s largest expenses. The amount that Cook County families pay for child care varies by region, care setting and the age of their children. On average it costs more than what many families pay for food, transportation or rent. Infant care in a child care center can cost more than sending a young adult to college.
  • KQED News Mind/Shift: Does Preschool Pay Off? Tulsa Program Demonstrates Success   In a new report published in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management today, researchers were able to show that Tulsa’s pre-K program has significant, positive effects on students’ outcomes and well-being through middle school.
  • KQED News Mind/Shift: A Lesson For Preschools: When It’s Done Right, The Benefits Last   The research, published this week in the journal Child Development, studied nearly 1 million North Carolina students who attended state-funded early childhood programs between 1995 and 2010, and followed them through fifth grade.


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