January 13, 2016

Our Policy Priorities for 2016    

With the start of the new year, Michigan’s Children is focusing its work on a specific set of public policy initiatives to improve opportunities for all of Michigan’s children with an emphasis on closing equity gaps. Read Matt Gillard’s Capitol Corner for a summary of where we stand and what we’ll fight for in this Legislative session and beyond. Please join us.

Tell Sen. Stabenow that a 2nd Snack is Essential for Children in Child Care

The U.S. Senate is indicating that it will move quickly on Child Nutrition Reauthorization – potentially as early as next week – and Michigan’s Senator Stabenow plays a key leadership role as the Ranking Member.  Senator Stabenow needs to hear from you about the need to include an additional snack through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) for children in child care for more than eight hours a day.  Good nutrition is so important for healthy development and we know that child care programs already struggle with minimal resources.  Please take a minute to contact Senator Stabenow today with the following message that you can personalize or use this web-form to send a letter:
Suggested language:
Dear Senator Stabenow,
I am writing to urge you to support the inclusion of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) additional snack provision in the Senate Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill.  It is vitally important for children in child care for long hours to have healthy meals and snacks throughout the day. Such meals and snacks are crucial to children’s growth and development; and the addition of a snack will improve childhood nutrition, enhance child development and school readiness, and help working families.
We appreciate your support and consideration of the additional snack in CACFP as we move towards the reauthorization of the child nutrition programs. Thank you.           

Early On Services Needed for Flint Children and in Other Lead-Impacted Areas

The State of Emergency declared in Flint over the water crisis that has exposed thousands of children to lead has raised new recommendations to mitigate damage done in the beleaguered community. Michigan’s Children has publicly recommended the need to help children and families by expanding Early On services to help babies and toddlers there and in other areas where lead exposure is a recognized problem.  The call for new investments in Early On appears in a commentary posted by the Flint Journal/Mlive. Comments from Matt Gillard also appeared in an article in the national Education Week publication.

2015 Was a Year of Advocacy and Action

At Michigan’s Children, 2015 was an important year filled with raising awareness for change for critical priorities such as Early On, foster care, family literacy, 3rd grade reading, adult education, and trauma-informed practices. Take a look back through our annual photo album posted to Flickr.

Advocacy tips to help you stand up and speak out for Michigan children. 
Gov. Rick Snyder makes his sixth State of the State address at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19.  Watch it to learn his priorities for families in the coming year, then share your opinion by calling or emailing his office. For contact details, click here.
Direct Quotes
“When a parent harms a child, the state is legally bound to protect him. When the state poisons and harms a child, who then protects them?”
-- Beverly Davidson, MSW, Infant Mental Health Specialist, commenting on Flint water crisis

Speaking for Kids is Michigan's Children's twice-a-month e-bulletin that offers public policy and budget information relating to children, youth and families in our state. 

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