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A poster woman for middle class, working moms emerges

PODCAST OF THE DAY

Harvard EdCast: The Future of Early Childhood Ed. Dr. Jack Shonkoff, Director of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard discusses President Obama’s plan for early childhood education.

 

 

 

VIDEO OF THE DAY

New Video Explains How Adults Can Lessen ‘Toxic Stress’ In KidsFrom WBUR Boston’s Common Health Blog. 

 

 

 

INFOGRAPHIC OF THE DAY

Educated Kids Can Be GR8 By 8.  The Kellogg Foundation.

 

 

 

 

GRAPH OF THE DAY

Fathers’ and Mothers’ Desire to Have Jobs with Greater Responsibility (1992-2008). Data compiled by the Families and Work Institute.  Published in the New York Times. 

 

 

 

 

 

THE LOWDOWN

School’s out for summer and Ed Source presents an assessment of California’s transitional kindergarten program after its first full year of existence.  

While new data finds that over 90% of California’s kids have continuous health insurance, access to providers who treat low-income kids continues to be a source of concern.  To ensure that every kid that qualifies for enrollment in Medi-Cal participates in the program, HHS awarded $6.2 Million to 9 organizations across the State to identify kids eligible for expanded Medi-Cal coverage and enroll them before January 1, 2014.      

Sara Uttech’s profile in the New York Times, as the poster woman for middle-class working moms, has struck a nerve—turning up the heat on the issue of work/family balance.  The Atlantic spotlights Rhode Island, the third state in the U.S. to provide paid family leave—to show how strong family leave policies create a fairer workplace. These policies certainly help  working mothers in the restaurant industry, who spend on average 35% of their weekly income on childcare

Newborn Erik Mendola-Friedman acquired insurance under CHIP to cover the cost of his birth and delivery; but it took 6 months to get it.  His parents’ experience navigating America’s healthcare system shows why reform was needed and identifies potential roadblocks in the new healthcare law.  Luckily, the Children’s Partnership provides a roadmap to help parents steer through the Affordable Care Act’s administrative maze. 

A key component of the Obama Administration’s public service campaign to beef up enrollment on the new health benefit exchanges involves targeting America’s mothers. While Organizing for Action (OFA) has been using mothers to promote the ACA, Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is using moms to criticize the new healthcare law. The Washington Post’s Fact Checker gives the AFP ad 2 “Pinocchios.”

The U.S. landscape is dotted with efforts by individual states to fund preschool programs.  Citing recent data released from Kids Count 2013, two prominent businessmen from Kansas say early education is an investment that makes dollars and sense for their state.  USA Today reports Alabama, Minnesota and Michigan are making investments in preschool again.  And a new paper from the Center for American Progress evaluates the programs in Georgia, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Boston. 

But, the Director of NIEER seeks a program for every 4 year-old because these efforts are not enough. Recognizing the need for more federal investment, the Senate subcommittee overseeing appropriations for education approved $750 Million to help states develop preschool programs and $1.6 Billion in additional funds for Head Start.

An observer from across the pond heralds research on early childhood from Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child and President Obama’s early education efforts.  Digging deep into the President’s plan, Dr. Claudia Gold emphasizes that a large part of the initiative’s funding is allocated for home visits to assist the parents of infants and young children.  She believes these visits provide a ‘secure base’ for at-risk families that help combat toxic stress.  A clear explanation of toxic stress and how pediatricians treat it in children can be found here and here.  Because research proves toxic stress adversely affects a child’s brain, a growing body of work links the health of today’s preschoolers to America’s economic future.

 

QUOTES OF THE DAY

“Science suggests if we want to have a breakthrough impact on children, we have to transform the lives of adults who take care of them.”  Dr. Jack Shonkoff, director, Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, during a talk before a national gathering convened by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), quoted in the Harvard Ed Gazette. 

 “I never miss a baseball game.” Sara Uttech, working mom and subject of a profile in the NYT on one of the priorities she sets—attending her sons’ baseball games. 

 “…the job shadows us.”  Robert Samuelson on Americans’ inability to achieve work/family balance because of their jobs. 

"Is it fair for the president of the United States to give American businesses an exemption from his healthcare law’s mandates, without giving the same exemption to the rest of America?”  House Speaker John Boehner on why House Republicans are currently considering a vote to delay ObamaCare's individual mandate, quoted in The HILL. 

 

CALIFORNIA

Transitional kindergarten enrollment varies widely across districts

AB 1266.  Pupil Rights:  Sex Segregated School Programs and Activities 

California Passes Comprehensive Transgender Protections For All K-12 Students 

California Ranks Among 10 Worst States for Child Welfare 

Experts Say Medi-Cal Expansion Could Worsen Health Provider Shortage 

Calif organizations win $6M to help enroll children in Medi-Cal 

 

FAMILY FLEXIBILITY

Coveting Not a Corner Office, but Time at Home 

Why Paid Family Leave Is Good for Everyone (Even People Who Don't Use It)

Men Want Work-Family Balance, and Policy Should Help Them Achieve It 

Americans of Both Genders Could Probably Stand To "Lean In" a Bit Less 

Mothers Working In Restaurants Spend More Than A Third Of Their Income On Child Care: Report 

OP ED.  Europe surpasses America in vacations.  Robert Samuelson

Why We’re Still Worked Up About Working from Home

Office Advancement vs. Home Duties 

38 percent of U.S. workers, or almost 40 million, lack any paid sick leave, according to the Center for American Progress.

 

THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

To Cover Their Child, One Couple Navigates A Health Insurance Maze In Pennsylvania 

HHS Takes Next Step to Getting Ready for Open Enrollment 

‘Obamacare’ Individual Mandate Stands: What You Need to Know Before October 

Obamacare backers launch campaign, want moms to convince their youths to get coverage 

What Covered California Thinks of Anti-Obamacare Ad

A new ad attacking ‘Obamacare’ 

 

PRESCHOOL/EARLY EDUCATION

State-Financed Preschool Access in the U.S. 

Invest now in early education 

States revive preschool funding as economies recover 

Access to Public Preschool Matters 

Study Finds Drastic State Pre-K Funding Cuts Put Nation's Youngest Learners at Risk 

Senate subcommittee votes ‘yes’ on piece of Obama’s preschool proposal 

 

TOXIC STRESS

Simon Kuper on how to raise a winning child

Center on the Developing Child 

Fact Sheet President Obama’s Plan for Early Education for all Americans 

Obama Rallies for America to Grow Stronger

Early trauma, lasting damage 

Pediatricians and Prevention of Toxic Stress 

Can Preschoolers Save Our Economy? 

 

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