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.
Feb 12, 2015 | PERMALINK »
ESEA Reauthorization Provides Opportunity to Bolster Support for Vulnerable Young Children and Disadvantaged Youth
Congress is currently considering the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), a law established in 1965 to provide funding to primary and secondary education. To inform their crucial debate, CLASP has released recommendations focused on young children and early childhood education, as well as academic success and college readiness for disadvantaged youth.
ESEA emphasizes equal access to high-quality programs to give every child a fair chance at success in school and life. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently appealed for the reauthorization of ESEA, which has not been updated since No Child Left Behind in 2001. And last Monday, President Obama released his FY 2016 budget proposal, which included bold initiatives to support our nation’s most vulnerable families, including an increased investment in ESEA.
Young children experience the highest incidence of poverty, with young adults close behind. Black and Hispanic children are disproportionately affected. Children and youth who are poor or from low-income communities have far worse education and employment outcomes in adulthood. High-quality early care and education programs play a critical role in the healthy development of young children, particularly those in low-income households. But despite growing consensus on the importance of the early years, lack of public investment leaves many young children without access to high-quality early education programs, including Head Start, public and community-based preschool programs, and child care programs.
Youth and young adults are suffering, too. Many school districts are failing to provide high-quality education that keeps students engaged. For every 10 students that begin 9th grade, 2 fail to graduate from high school 4 years later. It’s critical that we strengthen the education system to ensure all students graduate and are prepared for postsecondary opportunities and careers.
ESEA has the potential to improve access to high-quality early learning opportunities for young children and ensure youth succeed academically and are ready for college and careers. CLASP recommends the following priorities be included in an ESEA reauthorization:
- Provide a dedicated federal funding stream for early childhood education.
- Improve early childhood services for children birth through school entry.
- Ensure college and career readiness for all students by addressing disparities in school systems, particularly those with high-minority populations.
- Fund dropout prevention and recovery strategies and interventions, including multiple education pathways and options for struggling and out-of-school youth.
- Promote collaboration with other systems and sectors, such as human services and workforce systems and community based organizations, in order to better serve poor and low-income students.
- Encourage states to invest in accountability and data systems that inform planning and programming around dropout prevention and recovery.
A reauthorization of this important law must protect and enhance robust opportunities for all students, particularly those most at risk. Young children and disadvantaged youth are two key populations that deserve more attention in ESEA.
- 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
- Kisha Bird, Rhonda Tsoi-A-Fatt Bryant, Stephanie Schmit, Christina Walker | Feb 11, 2015 ESEA Reauthorization: Challenges & Opportunities
- 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
- 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 Executive Summary
- Christine Johnson-Staub | Oct 23, 2014 First Steps for Early Success: State Strategies to Support Developmental Screening in Early Childhood Settings
- Hannah Matthews and Rhiannon Reeves | Aug 26, 2014 Infants and Toddlers in CCDBG: 2012 Update