Infants and Toddlers
High-quality child care and early education--with warm, responsive, skilled caregivers; healthy and safe environments; and linkages to community supports--helps promote healthy development for infants and toddlers and lays a strong foundation for the future. CLASP studies, develops, and promotes child care subsidy and licensing policies and investments to improve the supply and increase the quality of infant/toddler child care across settings, including child care centers; Early Head Start; family child care; and family, friend, and neighbor care. Our Charting Progress for Babies in Child Care project provides a framework of policy recommendations for states. In particular, we focus on the needs of infants and toddlers in low-income families.
Jul 16, 2015 | PERMALINK »
Strong Start for America’s Children Amendment Calls for an Investment in Early Learning
The Every Child Achieves Act of 2015, which would reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) for the first time since No Child Left Behind was passed in 2001, is currently being debated on the Senate floor. Earlier today, the Senate voted against Senator Bob Casey’s (D-PA) Strong Start for America’s Children Amendment, which would have created a five-year innovative federal-state partnership to expand and improve early learning opportunities for children across the birth-to-age-five continuum. More specifically, the amendment provided for:
- Access to high-quality preschool by providing more than $30 billion in paid-for mandatory formula and grant funding to states—with a required state match—for high-quality, full-day preschool for four-year-old children from families earning below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.
- Support for early learning quality partnerships that meet the high-quality performance standards of Early Head Start and blend federal funds to provide high-quality, full-day child care.
- Promotion of increased funding to serve children with disabilities in early childhood settings by increasing the authorization level of programs for infants and toddlers with disabilities and of preschool grants for children with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
- Maintained support for home visiting programs and called for their continuation through the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program.
High-quality early education experiences have been linked to school readiness and the lifetime employment and earning potential of low-income children. Despite these linkages, some of the most vulnerable low- and moderate-income families in this country still lack access to high-quality child care options for their youngest children. The Strong Start for America’s Children Amendment further proposed to advance high-quality, comprehensive early care and education systems across the country that ultimately support the goals of ESEA.
Last week, the House passed its version of the ESEA reauthorization bill called the Student Success Act, which differs from the Senate bill under consideration. If the Senate passes the Every Child Achieves Act, Congress will need to reach a compromise between the House and Senate versions through a Conference Committee; therefore, the provisions of a final ESEA bill would remain to be negotiated.
Earlier this year, CLASP released recommendations for improving ESEA by increasing access to high-quality early learning opportunities for young children and promoting provisions that help youth succeed academically and ensure they are ready for college and career. We urge Congress, in working toward a final bill, to bolster support for vulnerable young children and disadvantaged youth because reauthorization of this important law must protect and enhance robust opportunities for all students, particularly those most at risk. The introduction of the Strong Start for America’s Children Amendment was a good first step in that direction.
- STEPHANIE SCHMIT (CLASP), CHRISTINA WALKER (CLASP), AND RACHEL HERZFELDT-KAMPRATH (CAP) | Feb 11, 2015 An Investment in Our Future: How Federal Home Visiting Funding Provides Critical Support for Parents and Children
- HANNAH MATTHEWS AND STEPHANIE SCHMIT | Apr 14, 2014 What State Leaders Should Know About Early Head Start
- Stephanie Schmit and Hannah Matthews | Sep 09, 2013 Better for Babies: A Study of State Infant and Toddler Child Care Policies
- Christine Johnson-Staub | Jan 16, 2014 Promote Family Engagement
- Stephanie Schmit (CLASP), Hannah Matthews (CLASP), Sheila Smith (NCCP), Taylor Robbins (NCCP) | Nov 01, 2013 Investing In Young Children Factsheet
- Elizabeth Lower-Basch and Stephanie Schmit | Oct 02, 2015 TANF and the First Year of Life: Making a Difference at a Pivotal Moment
- Christina Walker and Rhiannon Reeves | Sep 14, 2015 Infants and Toddlers in CCDBG: 2013 Update
- Stephanie Schmit and Christina Walker | May 06, 2015 Beyond Direct Services: State MIECHV Innovation and Infrastructure Building
- HANNAH MATTHEWS (CLASP), CHRISTINE JOHNSON-STAUB (CLASP), HELEN BLANK (NWLC), AND KAREN SCHULMAN (NWLC) | Apr 16, 2015 Webinar: Implementing the Child Care and Development Block Grant Reauthorization
- Hannah Matthews (CLASP), Christine Johnson-Staub (CLASP), Helen Blank (NWLC), and Karen Schulman (NWLC) | Apr 16, 2015 Implementing the Child Care and Development Block Grant Reauthorization