State CCDBG Plans to Promote Family Engagement
Dec 22, 2009 | Child Care & Early Education
The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) is the largest source of federal funding for child care available to states. Every two years, states must lay out their plans for using all CCDBG funds to help low-income families access child care and to improve the quality of child care for all children, including infants and toddlers. Below are examples of promising child care licensing, subsidy, and quality enhancement policies and initiatives supporting infant/toddler care as reported by states in their FFY 2008-2009 CCDBG plans.
Actions taken by states to promote family engagement included:
- Increasing media outreach
- Distributing toolkits to parents of newborns
- Offering parent education courses
- Creating home-based parent education programs
- Expanding access to early learning guidelines and other informational materials
- Alabama, Arkansas, and Maine reported working with television networks and other public media to increase awareness among parents about infant/toddler care and services and supports available to them.
- South Dakota reported that every parent with a newborn infant received a parent/infant welcome box containing a broad range of information on topics related to the well-being of young children. This included information on infant health, early brain development, and choosing child care.
- Virginia provided comprehensive toolkits to new parents to educate them on health care, child development, and infant safety. Virginia reported distributing approximately 100,000 toolkits, which included a toll-free number for child care referrals, at the time that the state's CCDBG plan was submitted.
- South Dakota offered a parent education course called Responsive Parent for families of children from birth to age 3. The course was a six-week training that taught parents about child development and how to respond to children's needs. Child care was provided during the training sessions so that parents could attend. In SFY 2006, 56 courses were offered, and 458 adults participated, affecting 868 children.
- New Mexico reported that that state was collaborating with New Mexico State University to offer a program for families called the In Home Infant Child Care program. The program allowed parents with infants who were eligible for child care assistance to stay at home and receive a subsidy that would have otherwise been paid to a provider for their child's care. As part of the program, parents participated in a 45-hour course to increase their infant care skills and understanding of early childhood development.
- Arkansas, Connecticut, and Delaware reported that they were working to ensure that Early Learning Guidelines were accessible to parents. Informational materials were also available for parents on critical health and safety issues.
- Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire had initiatives to increase parental awareness of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Some of these states reported that they translated materials in Spanish.