June 18, 2014
Dear Early Childhood Advocate,
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:
- Legislature Approves FY2015 State Budget
- New Sandbox Party Focuses on Elections
- Great Start to Quality Survey
- Early Head Start - Child Care Partnerships in Michigan
- Latest Speaking for Kids Staff Blog
Legislature Approves FY2015 State Budget
The Legislature has approved its budget bills for fiscal year 2015, and now they head to Governor Rick Snyder for his approval. As anticipated, another $65 million increase for the Great Start Readiness Program was included in the budget to make Michigan a "no-wait state" for four-year-old preschool. Other early childhood provisions include additional funding for evidence-based home visiting programs in Northern rural Michigan and the Upper Peninsula as well as an expansion of the Healthy Kids Dental program. Learn more about the early childhood provisions included in the FY2015 budget in our latest Budget Basics report.
New Sandbox Party Focuses on Elections
With a critical Michigan election season upon us, the Michigan Sandbox Party has joined forced with Michigan's Children to raise awareness and make children and family issues top priorities in state political campaigns.
The Sandbox Party, which will now become a project of Michigan's Children, is expanding its advocacy to reach children of all ages of which early childhood issues will remain a critical focus. Together, they will create a powerful network to mobilize greater numbers of constituents around the 2014 races and help educate voters about what's at stake for children and families. An important tool in this exciting work is the newly redesigned Sandbox Party website, www.michigansandboxparty.org, which now has a targeted election advocacy focus.
Visit the new Sandbox Party website often to learn more about the 2014 elections, candidates running for office in your community, a calendar of appearances by elected officials, and other election-related news and information.
Great Start to Quality Survey
The Michigan Department of Education/Office of Great Start (OGS), in coordination with the Early Childhood Investment Corporation, and other partners, is learning about how Great Start to Quality (GSQ) is being carried out statewide and in your region.
Your opinion counts. Please take 10 to 15 minutes to complete the survey about your participation in Great Start to Quality. The Survey will be active from June 16th to June 30th.
Thank you in advance for your time. Your responses will help OGS better understand how GSQ is working for early childhood programs, home providers and for families. All information gathered is confidential and will only be reviewed by Early Childhood Associates, who is administering the survey.
As a THANK YOU for completing the survey, you will be entered into a GREAT START TO QUALITY RAFFLE for a chance to win one of three gifts --- a $100, $75, $50 gift certificate to Walmart. Winners will be announced in July.
If you have any questions about completing the Survey, please feel free to contact Early Childhood Associates, at (508) 788-3444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Early Head Start - Child Care Partnerships
As part of President Obama’s Early Education Plan, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) will support States, Territories, and communities in expanding high-quality early learning to infants and toddlers through the Early Head Start Expansion and Early Head Start – Child Care (EHS-CC) Partnerships. Through these partnerships, Early Head Start grantees will partner with center-based and family child care providers who agree to meet Early Head Start Program Performance Standards and to provide comprehensive, full-day, full-year, high-quality services to infants and toddlers from low-income families.
On June 6, the competitive grant application for these funds was released. Michigan is eligible for $13.9 M in funding to both support communities in expanding EHS programming and establishing partnerships between EHS and child care providers to expand the availability of high-quality infant and toddler care for children from birth through age 3.
All agencies eligible to apply for EHS funds can apply for competitive partnership or expansion grants, including Territories, community organizations, nonprofit or for-profit organizations, and State and local governments.
Organizations interested in applying for funding can find the funding announcement at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/open/foa/view/HHS-2015-ACF-OHS-HP-0814.
There are several resources that have been created to help those interested in the opportunity. OGS is encouraging you to not only consider applying for these funds, but to utilize the resources that were created to support those interested in applying.
· A new resource with answers to many frequently asked questions
· The EHS-CC Partnerships applicant support toolkit
· The EHS-CC Partnerships webinar resource page
· The ACF Early Childhood Development office page on the partnerships.
Information on Michigan-specific webinars and resources are forthcoming. The Office of Great Start will distribute information on these opportunities through future emails. Please direct any questions to Kaitlin Ferrick, the Head Start State Collaboration Office Director, at FerrickK1@michigan.gov.
Latest Speaking for Kids Staff Blog