February 26, 2015
Dear Early Childhood Supporter,
Welcome to Michigan's Children's Early Childhood Action Network. Through this network, I hope to provide you with timely information on advocacy actions you can take to ensure that public policies are made in the best interest of Michigan's young children and their families, with a focus on families that face the most significant challenges in our state. If you have any questions about the information provided, please feel free to contact me. I welcome your input.
In this issue:
Governor Snyder introduced his fiscal year 2016 budget recommendations earlier this month, which, as anticipated, includes a significant focus on third grade reading. Some of the key early childhood provisions in his budget include the following:
Governor Snyder's Budget: Implications for Young Children
See more details on the Education and School Aid budgets in our latest Budget Basics publication, and begin talking to legislators who sit on key appropriations committees who will be taking up the Governor's budget recommendations about what you hope to see prioritized in the state budget.
- The Governor maintains the Great Start Readiness Program expansion by providing $239.3 million at $3,625 per half-day slot for a total of 63,000 slots for four-year-olds who have factors in their lives that place them at-risk of being under-prepared at kindergarten.
- As part of his $48 million third grade reading focus, the Governor provides a $5 million increase to the Early Childhood Block Grant for Intermediate School Districts to provide home visiting services, $1 million for a pilot parent education program, $2.6 million to support a kindergarten entry assessment as well as assessments in first and second grades, $10 million for expanded learning opportunities in kindergarten through third grade focused on literacy, and an array of supports focused on professional development. He also includes shifts to the child care subsidy program using federal dollars that would increase reimbursement rates based on the quality of care, ensure families receive 12-months of continuous eligibility for the subsidy, and allow families to continue receiving the subsidy as they begin to make more money.
- Governor Snyder’s budget recommendations did not include any state allocation for Early On intervention services.
- The Governor continues to expand the Healthy Kids Dental program by providing a $7.8 million increase to serve children ages 0-8 living in Wayne, Oakland, and Kent counties.
- The Governor provides continuation funding for programs that prevent child maltreatment and preserve families including Strong Families/Safe Children, Families First, Child Protection and Permanency, and Family Reunification
Act Now for MIECHV Reauthorization
The National Home Visiting Coalition has organized a Home Visiting Day of Action on March 3rd, 2015 to urge legislators to reauthorize the federal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program, which expires next month. MIECHV funding is an integral part of Michigan's home visiting system, providing support to the state's home visiting infrastructure and service delivery.
To get involved in the Day of Action:
- Have your organization sign-on to a letter going to Congress by March 2nd on MIECHV reauthorization.
- Call or e-mail your Members of Congress on March 3rd, and share how important MIECHV supported home-visiting services are to you, your family, and/or your community.
- Participate in the social media/tweet storm between 1:30pm and 2:30pm (EST) on March 3rd Some sample tweets:
- #HomeVisiting is working for children and families. Reauthorize #MIECHV now! @InsertYourSenator/RepresentativeUsernameHere
- Invest in stronger families & communities in Michigan. Reauthorize #MIECHV #HomeVisiting! @InsertYourSenator/RepresentativeUsernameHere
Info Sessions on Michigan's Child Care Market Rate Survey
The Michigan Department of Education - Office of Great Start (MDE-OGS) Child Development and Care Program will be launching its bi-annual Child Care Market Rate Survey (MRS). The federally mandated MRS is intended to better understand the cost of providing child care in our state and can be used as a tool to increase Michigan's low child care subsidy rates. As part of this year's MRS process, three informational sessions will be held next week on March 2nd and 3rd that will cover the intent of the survey, how the survey will be conducted, how you can participate, and how the survey results will be used.
Register for an informational session.
Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge Webinar
On March 2nd, 2015 from 10am-11am (EST) staff from MDE-OGS will host a webinar about Michigan’s Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge Grant (RTT-ELC). The webinar will provide information about RTT-ELC projects and activities, and allow participants to ask questions. This webinar was previously scheduled for February 2nd but cancelled due to inclement weather.
Register for the webinar.
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