July 3, 2014
Dear Early Childhood Supporter,
Welcome to Michigan's Children's Early Childhood Action Network. We are using this network to provide timely information on a variety of topics related to early childhood issues in Michigan, with a focus on race equity and how early childhood is critical to the cradle to career continuum of child development, education, and economic success. If you have any questions about the information provided, please feel free to contact me. I welcome your input.
In this issue:
- State Budget Finalized
- Latest Speaking for Kids Staff Blogs
- Your 0-3 Priorities Sought
- Office of Great Start Survey
State Budget Finalized
Governor Snyder has signed the budget bills for fiscal year 2015 into law with no vetoes impacting families with young children. As anticipated, a second consecutive $65 million expansion for the Great Start Readiness Program was included in the final budget to make Michigan a "no-wait" state for preschool. Also included in the budget are new funds to support evidence-based home visiting in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, an increase in lead abatement, and another anticipated expansion of the Healthy Kids Dental Program. All of these early childhood budget increases are known strategies to improve equitable outcomes for children.
Now that the budgets are completed, elected officials are shifting right into campaign mode, with the entire Michigan Legislature up for election this year. My latest blog post talks about how you can utilize the state budget as a tool to engage with candidates and learn more about their equity-promoting priorities if they are elected or re-elected into office.
Things to Read:
Latest Speaking for Kids Staff Blog
Your 0-3 Priorities Sought
Michigan’s Children in partnership with several other state-level advocacy organizations is distributing a survey to gauge understanding and priority identification of issues related to families with infants and toddlers. This survey spans a wide net to identify the needs and priorities across health, mental health, family support, early intervention, and other areas. Because of our hope to be inclusive of the needs of families with infants and toddlers, there may be some sections in the survey that you are not as familiar. We appreciate you taking the time to provide your input on the sections you are expert and passionate about. Feel free to use the "I don't know" response as often as needed.
Take the survey
and please share with your networks. We are hoping to get as many survey response as possible. Families are also encouraged to complete the survey. Thank you!
Office of Great Start Survey
In 2013, the Office of Great Start
at the Michigan Department of Education
connected with citizens across the state to develop a plan for early learning and development in Michigan. This comprehensive plan contains six recommendations and numerous priority action items for advancing early learning and development. You can read the plan here: Great Start, Great Investment, Great Future:The Plan for Early Learning and Development in Michigan
The Office of Great Start is asking for public input, from any interested stakeholders, as it works to make this plan a reality. The OGS has heard from stakeholders across the state through regional forums and is working to expand the input received by conducting an online survey
Please respond to the survey to share your ideas on how state and local partners can move forward together.
Tell OGS what you think are the best ways to connect with parents. Share what works in your community. Give examples of how to support quality improvement and local networks.
OGS looks forward to hearing from you, and appreciates you forwarding this message to interested parents, providers, or other constituents in your community.