We have a new CCDBG rule; new research on implicit bias and early childhood educators; and (potentially) new classifications for those who work in early childhood education. Plus, we’re rolling out new content and resources to support you in getting out the #EarlyEdin16 vote for this year’s election! Check it out at www.earlyedforpresident.org!
NEW RULE: CHILD CARE AND DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT!
In January 2016, over 1,500 NAEYC members completed a survey to share their appreciation for - and their concerns about - the proposed regulations from the Administration for Children and Families implementing the 2014 reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG). NAEYC then submitted comments reflecting the collective experience and expertise of the field.
Last week, in a significant accomplishment, ACF issued the final CCDBG regulations, marking an important step forward for children, families and educators by clarifying the goals of the law, improving the health, safety and quality of child care, supporting the early childhood profession, and making child care assistance more accessible and stable for families.
Some highlights of the final rule include the following requirements for states to:
Establish minimum twelve month eligibility periods (which leads to much-needed consistency for children, families and educators).
Establish a graduated phase-out of subsidies for families who, at eligibility redetermination, exceed initial State income thresholds but still have modest incomes. (This allows families to say yes to a small raise, without worrying that accepting the increase would result in losing their child care because of it).
Describe policies to prevent suspension and expulsion of children birth to age 5 in child care and other early childhood programs (a matter of deep importance to NAEYC and many members, families and partner organizations).
Improve important provider payment practices, including: base payments to providers on child attendance rather than enrollment; take the cost of providing quality child care into account when setting provider subsidy payment rates; show how base payment rates enable providers to meet health, safety, quality, and staffing requirements; and use valid methodologies to update rates at least every three years.
In addition, among the areas for which NAEYC provided comments, we find that the final rule:
does not prohibit providers from charging families fees above co-pays, a desirable but problematic strategy that threatened accessibility of quality care;
integrates increasing compensation throughout the regulation as a strategy for improving quality;
requires background checks for all adults over the age of 18, including those in a family child care home;
maintains a three-month period to complete orientation or pre-service training, with appropriate supervision in place; and
requires states to monitor providers receiving CCDF funds (including those that are license-exempt), at least annually.
Please stay tuned for more information and tools from NAEYC and partner organizations - and in the meantime, feel free to do your own reading via fact sheets and slideshows from ACF.
Finally - and crucially - we look forward to continuing to work with you and all of our partners to secure new federal and state investments to support the implementation of the CCDBG law and rule, so that all eligible children and families can benefit from improvements to the health, safety and quality of child care.
NEW RESEARCH: IMPLICIT BIAS AND EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATORS
We all have implicit biases, yet we don’t often know what to do with them - how to examine, respond to and change them. As a longtime leader in the anti-bias field, NAEYC is committed to bringing new research and resources to you, in order to shine a light on how we can, collectively and individually, reduce our biases and improve our policies and practices to better serve young children and their families. That is why we welcome new research from Dr. Walter Gilliam and a team at the Yale Child Study Center that explores the implicit biases of early childhood educators and the impact those biases may have on their expectations of children’s behavior and recommendations related to suspension and expulsion.
We are also proud of early childhood educators’ role in collecting the data for the survey. We know that, when fully informed about what this research was addressing, all but one educator choose to remain in the study. The truth is that nearly 90% of American voters say early childhood educators are important members of their communities, on par with firefighters and nurses. Yet it’s not often that early childhood educators have the opportunity to display true courage on a national stage, as firefighters and nurses so often do. Willingly holding up a mirror to examine one’s own biases, however, takes courage; courage that is displayed by few members of any profession. We are proud to stand as an example for other individuals and professions in tackling head-on the issues that prevent us from fulfilling our shared mission and vision to ensure that all children have equitable access to high-quality, developmentally-appropriate early childhood education.
Join us at our Annual Conference, where Dr. Gilliam and his team will be presenting on this research during a Research Symposium session on Thursday, November 3 at 10:00 am PT.
NEW (POTENTIAL) CLASSIFICATIONS
Thank you to everyone who submitted comments on the Department of Labor’s revisions for the 2018 Standard Occupational Classifications. They received a whopping 1,113 comments, a number which includes many early childhood educators and advocates, including NAEYC Affiliates, all of who were mobilized and out in force to fight against the codification of a false dichotomy that separates “care” from “education,” reflecting an outdated understanding of the roles and expectations of the early childhood profession. You can read NAEYC’s comments here for more - along with those we submitted on this issue back in 2014!
Check out #ECEHealthEquity to keep up with the great work happening around early childhood health equity efforts convened by Affiliates and partners in North Carolina, Illinois, Indiana and New Mexico, with support from NAEYC and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation!