July – August 2010 ACTION News from
the NYS Infancy Leadership Circles

A project of NYZTT

Dear Friends,
We are spending the summer months planning for next season’s activities after speaking with many of you around the state. One topic on your minds is how to identify the local needs of infants and toddlers and their families that need a communal effort to solve. One vehicle for beginning the process is to hold one or more sessions on the statistics available for assessing how your community’s babies are faring.

This is an idea that was actually conceived and prepared for by a number of state leaders and agencies over two years ago after realizing that most state and national databases mixed infant and toddler information in with preschoolers and was inadequate for local planning. The result is a resource package published in 2009 entitled: Using Data to Build Comprehensive Systems for Infants and Families. The tools consist of a resource guide, facilitator’s guide, and a DVD that can be used for an “Infancy Summit” over two days or a series of four sessions spread over a longer period.

The materials are specifically designed to help early childhood community groups interested in improving services for children and families.

    The sessions provide a guide to:

  • systematically review and assess the current systems that provide care to infants and families
  • identify issues that could benefit from community coalition action and support
  • develop data-driven advocacy efforts and system improvements

This resource kit was produced by the NYS Council on Children and Families and the NYS Child Care Coordinating Council (now the Early Care and Learning Council) as part of the NYS Touchstones/KIDS COUNT project. You can preview it online at: www.ccf.state.ny.us, or request paper copies and DVD from the Council on Children and Families at: COUNCIL@CCF.STATE.NY.US, or phone (518) 473-3652.

We would like to encourage you to think about having such an “Infancy Summit” in your community next fall or early winter. We are ready to work with you to help make them a reality. We look forward to talking to you about your community and how we can help.

Carole and Jackie


Thursday, July 22 – Friday, July 23, 2010, Albany, NY:

Northeast Family Strengthening Conference 2010, Crowne Plaza Hotel

This year’s theme is Rethink, Retool, Renew: Innovative Strategies to Strengthen Families and Neighborhoods.
This is an annual dynamic forum on family and community strengthening strategies for service providers, faith-based and community leaders, parents, elected officials, government agency representatives, early care and education, and Head Start staff.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010, Washington, DC:

NAEYC, 1313 L Street NW: Workshop: Improving Program Quality through Self-Study

This full-day workshop focuses on using the Self-Study process to guide quality improvements for your early learning program. Designed for early learning practitioners with some or no prior knowledge of the NAEYC Accreditation process.
Students will: outline the 4 Steps of the NAEYC Accreditation process; clarify the purpose of Self-Study as a path to quality improvement; share practical advice on planning and structuring the Self-Study; identify resources available to support a reflective period of Self-Study. Registration closes on Wednesday, August 4.

Thursday, September 23, 2010, New York, NY: 9:30 am – 1 pm

Information Session: Accessing Services for Children with Special Health Care Needs

Needs RSVP by Aug 6
This event is free but requires a reservation. Sponsored by the NYC Dept of Health and Mental Hygiene, this information session will show: How to access government services, help coordinate services for families, get help from DOHMH child benefit Advisors for health insurance services and other benefits, get and/or renew physically handicapped children’s program services, and obtain services for youth transitioning to adult services.
Location: 161 William Street, 6th FL Training Room, New York, NY 10038
Limited space. Register by email or fax to reserve a seat by August 6 to: Contact: Esther Curenton, LCSW: ecurent1@health.nyc.gov or FAX: (212) 227-7576 Questions: call: 212 788-5584 or 212 676-2950.


Winning Beginning NY Mobilization Call
  • Tuesday, 3:30 PM please call in to learn how you can help in the WBNY effort to make promoting Early Childhood a major election issue this fall for all the candidates. For further information, contact Jen O’Connor, Senior Policy Associate, Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy, joconnor@scaany.org.

State Policy Issues

New Advocacy Resources at NYZTT Website
  • Powerpoint presentations from Infant Toddler Forum, NYAEYC, Verona, NY, April 29, 2010

Go to: www.nyztt.org

  • Update on Leadership Circles & Advocacy, presented by Carole Oshinsky
  • Lessons Learned on Maternal Depression, presented by Regina Canuso
United Way Born Learning Initiative
  • This new campaign sponsored by United Way is meant to inspire anyone in contact with children or concerned about children to get them ready for school. The theme is: TURN EVERY MOMENT INTO A TEACHABLE MOMENT. The goals are to promote awareness on
    learning; educate in simple steps every day; and create a public policy platform for advocacy. Contact your local United Way for details.
Autism Legislation
  • A number of bills have been introduced in the Senate and Assembly concerning the diagnosis of Autism and payment for services. These include establishing diagnostic centers for children age 5 and older, training of teachers in public schools, and mandating private insurance payment.
  • The legislation regarding insurance coverage has passed the legislature on June 23, and is awaiting the governor’s signature (A.1-372A, S.7000B). This groundbreaking legislation will require health insurers subject to New York law to
    cover evidence-based, medically necessary treatments for individuals of all ages with autism spectrum disorder.
  • Please contact your legislator and thank them for this vote, and also talk to them about the Autism legislation for establishing Diagnostic Centers and ask that they cover children still in infancy—often the diagnosis is made at 18 months
    and research shows early intervention is especially important with these children. For more information go to www.autismvotes.org/newyork,
    an initiative of Autism Speaks.
Overzealous Audit Practices of Office of Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG)
  • The Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services has prepared a legislative brief concerning their belief that the OMIG has gone beyond fraud prevention and is applying fines and punitive actions to human error and less. Several legislators
    are working on the problem, including Assemblymen Richard Gottfried who is sponsoring legislation to ensure fair practices, Bill #: A10630.
  • However, the Assembly Committee on Codes has voted to defer action indefinitely on this matter. This issue may affect many infant serving agencies using Medicaid funds. Please call members of the Code Committee and ask for the legislation
    to be put back on the Committee’s agenda. Members include:
Hon. Joseph Lentol (Chair)
Hon. Helene Weinstein
Hon. James Brennan
Hon. Keith Wright
Hon. David Weprin
Hon. J. Gary Pretlow
Hon. Vivian Cook
Hon. Steven Cymbrowitz
Hon. Michele Titus
Hon. Daniel O’Donnel
Hon. N. Nick Perry
718-788-7221 or 718-940-0641
914-375-0456 or 914-667-0127
718-327-1845 or 718-322-4958
Campaign for Access to High-Quality Children’s Mental Health Services for Public Insurance Recipients
  • The victory in New York City to have prominent New York University Child Study Center (CSC) accept children enrolled in Medicaid or Child Health Plus programs instead of only cash may be an issue for other communities in New York State.
    Congratulations to the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI), LatinoJustice/PRlDEF,and CLEARY-GOTTLIEB-STEEN & HAMILTON LLP, for working on this. While Medicaid Managed Care plans are still not being accepted, 3 out of 10 providers will now take the other plans. Full details are at the CSC web site or Kelly McAnnany www.nylpi.org.

Federal Policy Issues

Zero to Three Reports on Federal Budget

The House of Representatives is now providing direction for next year’s federal budget, with troubling implications for important infant-toddler programs. Instead of the usual five year Budget Resolution, the House is planning to move a measure setting discretionary spending levels only for FY 2011. Responding to the concern over the federal budget debt and deficit, House leaders are projecting that total discretionary funding (funds available for annual domestic appropriations) will be $15 billion below the amount in the President’s budget, which already capped total spending at the FY 2010 level. While the budget blueprint merely sets the top line amount for all spending, not individual program allocations, such a cut in total funds could have negative ramifications for maintaining the increases included in ARRA for programs such as Head Start/Early Head Start and child care. The Senate is expected to adopt the House’s tactic of a one year resolution (referred to as a “deeming resolution”), although not necessarily with such deep cuts. The Senate previously reported a Budget Resolution out of Committee with a funding cap $4 billion below the President’s proposal.

Action we can take: Remind your Members of Congress about our priorities as they campaign.
Broad-based and vocal public support for investments in early childhood services is critical to maintaining gains from ARRA funding.


JUNE ARRA Funds Webinar available online

The June Webinar, Using ARRA Funds for State Infant/Toddler Initiatives, is available on the website of the National Women’s Law Center
    Other resources mentioned in this webinar include:

  • Pennsylvania’s Keystone Babies pilot program, including FAQs and a Request for Proposals
  • Virginia’s infant/toddler initiative, which includes information about the goals and strategies of the initiative
  • Additional details about key provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment
  • Speakers may also be contacted:
    • Evelyn Efinger, Infant Toddler Coordinator, Early Care & Learning Council, New York at eefinger@earlycareandlearning.org
    • Debi Mathias, Director of Bureau of Early Learning Services at the Office of Child Development and Early Learning, Departments of Education and Public Welfare, Pennsylvania at demathias@state.pa.us
    • Wenda Singer, Program Consultant at the Office of Early Childhood Development, Department of Social Services, Virginia at wenda.singer@dss.virginia.gov
    • Karen Schulman, Senior Policy Analyst, National Women’s Law Center at kschulman@nwlc.org
    • Helen Blank, Director, Leadership and Public Policy, National Women’s Law Center (moderator) at hblank@nwlc.org


Grant Reviewers at Administration for Children and Families, HHS

As a part of the ACF Accessibility Initiative, key ACF programs are recruiting and engaging new reviewers in the process. The grant review process is mutually beneficial for the Federal government and the reviewers. The Federal government and tax payers benefit from field expertise and knowledge of the reviewers, ensuring that our projects address relevant and emerging issues in the community. At the same time, reviewers obtain knowledge about the Federal grant award process and grant application requirements, which can be taken back to the community and applied when developing proposals. Online application process is now available for the following agencies of the federal government related to young children:

Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF):

administers the major Federal programs that support social services designed to promote the positive growth and development of children and youth and their families; Go to:

Administration for Native Americans (ANA):

promotes the goal of self-sufficiency and cultural preservation for Native Americans by providing social and economic development opportunities through financial assistance, training, and technical assistance to eligible Tribes and Native American communities Go to: www.acf.hhs.gov

Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD):

implements the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000, known as the DD Act, and the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002. Go to: www.ent-s-t.com

Office of Community Services (OCS):

works in partnership with States, communities, and other agencies to provide a range of human and economic development services and activities, which ameliorate the causes and characteristics of poverty and otherwise assist persons in need. Go to:

Office of Family Assistance, Child Care Bureau (CCB):

supports low-income working families through child care financial assistance and promotes children’s learning by improving the quality of early care and education and after school programs. Go to: www.acfgo.com/

Office of Head Start (OHS):

advises the Assistant Secretary for Children and Families on issues regarding the Head Start program (including Early Head Start). Go to: www.acfgo.com/

Infant/Toddler Home Visiting Coordinator, Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center

Candidate will expand home visiting program located in the South Bronx community. South Bronx Early Head Start is a voluntary educational and support program for expectant and new parents residing within the South Bronx community. The program is a new initiative and expansion of Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center’s Department of OBGYN that will provide services to expectant families and families with children who are premature and ages 0 to 3 in NICU and in their home.
The Infant/Toddler Coordinator will be primarily responsible for: assisting staff with planning, preparing and delivering instructional activities; the coordination, recruitment and implementation of play groups; coordinating services for children who are identified with a disability and/or medically fragile; establishing and maintaining relationships with community based services; conducting home visits and observations as needed; participating in department and parent meetings; conducting Quality Assurance activities, gathering statistics and generates reports

Applicant must be organized, detailed oriented and a quick learner. Qualifications: bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood education preferred, a background in working with infants and toddlers, a background in early intervention services a plus, bilingual in Spanish are encouraged to apply.

Send cover letter and resume to Lisa White, LMSW, South Bronx Healthy Families, Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center, 1650 Selwyn Avenue, Bronx, New York 10457, or e-mail resume to SB-HFNY@aol.com

Early Childhood Teachers, Two Year Olds, The Helen Owen Carey Child Development Center Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY, 718-638-4100
    Serving Brooklyn for 30 years, the successful candidate for this early childhood program will:

  • work cooperatively and enthusiastically as part of a classroom team
  • Relate well to parents and families of our diverse population
  • Be creative, a good observer and someone who understands the importance of consistent and nurturing relationships for toddlers and twos in early education.
  • Really enjoy working with very young children –specifically with young two year olds.
      In addition, the


    candidate will:

  • Have a BA in Early Childhood Education. NY State Certification preferred but a candidate approaching certification will be considered
  • Have experience working with toddlers and/or young preschoolers in a group setting
  • Be able to lead a classroom team and work cooperatively with teammates and other staff
  • Have experience implementing developmentally appropriate curriculum for toddlers and twos.

This is a Union Center; 1707 salary scale and benefits including an excellent health package. To apply, paste resume into e-mail response to: helenowencarey.cdc@verizon.net,
att: Mr. Leonard Fennell, Director. Include a brief statement describing why you think you would be a successful candidate for this position.


Healthy Families in Hard Times: Solutions for Multiple Family Hardships

This brief from Children’s Health Watch shows the impact of hardship on very young children, particularly babies whose families experience a combination of food, housing, and energy problems, are likely to have health problems that persist into adulthood. Family strengthening and coordination of current services are recommended to improve these children’s early child hood and prevent long-term consequences. Go to: www.childrenshealthwatch.org

Childhood Poverty Persistence: Facts and Consequences

The Urban Institute documents the link between poverty status at birth, persistant childhood poverty and adult success, revealing that 49 percent of the children who are born into poor families are likely to spend at least half of their childhood living in poverty and are much more likely to drop out of school, have a teen nonmarital birth, and experience poverty as adults. Data from 1968-2005 shows half of all children born in the U.S. during these years were born into poor families. Only 4 percent of
children born to nonpoor families experienced persistent poverty in childhood. Go to: www.urban.org

Home Visiting Early Learning Initiatives in Washington State

Two research briefs describe this Gates Foundation initiative begun in 2006 to better prepare children for school using a home-visiting program in two difference communities in Washington State: Better Beginnings: Developing Home-Based Early Learning Systems in East Yakima and White Center, and Better Beginnings: Partnering with Families for Early Learning Home Visit Observations. The briefs describe the experiences of implementing home-based early learning services, and provide recommendations for developing and evaluating home-visiting programs. Go to: www.mathematica-mpr.com/earlychildhood/earlylearning.asp

Home Visiting Tools from ZERO TO THREE

New items from ZERO TO THREE provide comprehensive information on planning, implementing and improving state home visiting systems, using federal grants, and research-based evidence to make programs successful. Materials include:
Home Visitation Self-Assessment Tool for States; a policy brief:
Supporting Parents and Child Development through Home Visiting
; highlights from the webinar, Successful Early Childhood Home Visitation Systems,
featuring four states’ innovative approaches; and the Zero to Three Journal issue entitled Home Visiting: Past, Present, and Future. In addition, the ZERO TO THREE Policy Network Facebook page features a home visiting discussion that you can join to share stories and ideas about home visiting in our state and learn how other states are planning to use new federal home visiting funds.

Getting Organized: Unionizing Home-Based Child Care Providers 2010 Update

This report describes the progress across the nation on unionization of home-based child care providers to improve investments in child care and treatment of providers, a poorly paid and mostly female part of the child care workforce. Go to:

Non Profit Leaders Face New Realities: Status Report on Non Profit Care

Article on child care survey challenges the notion of improving quality of child care through licensing, accreditation, or QRIS without a serious monetary investment by the government. Ann Mitchell, former NY AEYC president, says of the report: “it is very clear that smaller programs are not financially viable, even in states with generous incentives [for QRIS]. Go to: www.childcareexchange.com/library/5019428.pdf

Research shows Coordination needed in Early Childhood Education

Times-Picayune, New Orleans article quotes Jacqueline Jones, the senior advisor for early learning in the U.S. Department of Education: “For the first time in a long time we have an executive who is speaking about early childhood. But when it comes to a coordinated system of early care and education, we don’t have that, and I think we need to admit we don’t have it.” Go to: www.nola.com

A Review of School Readiness Practices in the States: Early Learning Guidelines and School Readiness

This new paper from Child Trends discusses state Early Learning Guidelines (ELGs) and statewide school readiness assessments administered in kindergarten. The brief emphasizes the importance of early learning for children’s development, and provides policy considerations for developing and utilizing school readiness assessments at the state level. Go to: www.childtrends.org/Files/Child_Trends-2010_06_18_ECH_SchoolReadiness.pdf

Basic Facts on Children of Immigrants

This new fact sheet from The Urban Institute reveals more than one in five U.S. children have at least one immigrant parent. These children have lower rates of preschool enrollment and are disproportionately poor or low income and less likely to use public benefits such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Go to: www.urban.org/publications/412114.html

Website on Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) Development

The BUILD Initiative and Smart Start National Technical Assistance Center recently launched the QRIS National Learning Network (NLN), a website devoted to the development and effective use of quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS). The website features state-by-state resources, reports, links, and a list of organizations that can provide more intensive technical assistance.

Brochure Links Early Childhood and Workforce

This brochure from The Society for Human Resource Management and the Partnership for America’s Economic Success — Meeting the Workforce Needs of the Future Means
Meeting the Developmental Needs of Young Children Today
— includes data which reinforces that the current labor force does not meet today’s business needs. It provides evidence that investment in early childhood education is the best way to improve our nation’s workforce and economy. Go to: www.partnershipforsuccess.org/uploads/20100616_PAESSHRM.web.pdf

Effects of the Recession on Young Children

The 2010 Child and Youth Well-Being Index (CWI), from the Foundation for Child Development contains the first comprehensive data on the impact of the recession on American children’s overall quality-of-life. The CWI projects that the recession will wipe out virtually all progress made for children in the Family Economic Well-being Domain since 1975. Go to: http://www.fcd-us.org/sites/default/files/FINAL 2010 CWI Annual Release.pdf