NAEYC CHILDREN’S CHAMPIONS UPDATE
November 23, 2011
In this season of giving thanks, NAEYC thanks you for all you do on behalf of children and families.
- Super Committee Can’t Come to Deficit Reduction Agreement; Next Steps?
- Linda Smith Incoming Deputy Assistant Secretary at HHS
- U.S. Office of Child Care Memoranda on Continuity of Care and Background Checks
SUPER COMMITTEE FAILS TO REACH CONSENSUS – WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR CHILDREN, FAMILIES AND THE DEFICIT?
The Budget Control Act established a Super Committee of 12 members of Congress, evenly divided between the Democrats and Republicans, to find a way to reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion. As you know from previous emails, the timeline to come to a consensus was November 23rd. Under the Act, if a decision could not be reached, an automatic trigger of cuts would take effect starting January 2013: $600 billion in military spending cuts and $600 billion in other domestic discretionary spending cuts (such as Head Start, Title I, IDEA, WIC). The lack of consensus centered on the extent that members disagreed on dealing with deficit reduction by raising revenue (one proposal would have further reduced revenues from the top income earners) and the degree of changes to Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security.
So what happens next? The automatic cuts (sequestration) do not start until January 2013. The good news is that some mandatory funded programs such as SNAP/Food Stamps, TANF, Social Security, Medicaid and the mandatory funded portion of child care are not subject to the automatic cuts. One strategy is to find ways to reduce the deficit between now and then that would allow less draconian cuts that could seriously impact children’s early education, health and nutrition. For example, if the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for the top income earners are allowed to expire at the end of calendar year 2012, that would make a big difference in the need to make cuts to programs that help struggling families and help meet children’s needs. Stay tuned on next steps.
Don’t forget the appropriations process too! Congress passed another Continuing Resolution to keep the federal funds flowing through December 16th for the fiscal year 2012 spending cycle.
NEW DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY ANNOUNCED
Last week, the Administration for Children and Families announced that Linda Smith, Executive Director for the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies since 2003, will become the Deputy Assistant Secretary and Inter-departmental Liaison for Early Childhood Education. She began her early childhood career on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Montana. Later, she was Director of the Office of Family Policy for the Secretary of Defense, advancing significant improvements in military child care. Linda then worked as a legislative fellow and staff for the late Senator Kennedy on the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. NAEYC congratulates Linda Smith on her new role and looks forward to working with her to create high quality early childhood education in child care and Head Start, and to build strong coordination with programs administered in other federal agencies.
TWO NEW INFORMATION MEMOS FROM THE OFFICE OF CHILD CARE ON CONTINUITY OF CARE AND BACKGROUND CHECKS
The federal Office of Child Care recently issued Information Memoranda with guidance on ways to promote continuity of care and comprehensive criminal background checks. The continuity of care recommendations address ways to promote retention of a child’s subsidy and reduce administrative burden. The second guidance recommends that all child care providers receiving subsidies undergo comprehensive criminal background checks as part of their minimum health and safety requirements.
To find out more about the continuity of care guidance, click here.
To read the guidance on criminal background checks guidance, click here.