2013 PUBLIC POLICY AGENDA
2013 Public Policy Agenda In Brief
ENSURE VITAL SERVICES TO YOUNG CHILDREN & FAMILIES
Investments in early childhood have both short and long term economic benefits for our state, its families, and current and future workforce. Initiatives dedicated to improving the quality of early care and learning programs, such as QUALITYstarsNY, support the efforts of programs to improve the quality of their services and to give parents the information they need to make a more informed choice.
Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) Agency Capacity
- Incorporate CCR&R expertise into QUALITYstarsNY. Promote investment in Child Care Resource & Referral services, particularly training and technical assistance, as an integral part of the implementation and delivery of QUALITYstarsNY.
- Support early care and education professionals: Align CCR&R professional development services with State initiatives designed to improve knowledge, competencies and dispositions; ensure early care and education professionals in child care have adequate supports including scholarships and wage supplements.
Access to Quality
- Adequate funding; transparent allocation. Funding for child care subsidies is essential to ensure that working families have a way to provide care for their children. Child care funding should be distributed among the counties according to clear, equitable and transparent formulas.
- Access to licensed and regulated care: All parents receiving subsidies should be provided at least two choices of licensed or regulated care, especially public assistance recipients.
- Quality child care for all children: All children deserve equal access to quality child care. However, without a system in a place to ensure quality, vulnerable children may be placed in care that is of questionable quality, resulting in harmful outcomes. QUALITYstarsNY is designed to acknowledge programs that demonstrate quality above and beyond meeting New York State's strong regulatory standards and develop a quality improvement plan for all participating programs.
Social and Emotional Health
- Ensure that more quality care options are available for infants and toddlers. Quality early care and learning prepares children for both school and life. With 75% of brain growth and 85% of intellect, personality and social skills developing before age five we can’t leave these years to chance. Through additional staff qualifications and learning environment requirements, QUALITYstarsNY will ensure that New York State’s infants and toddlers have an increased supply of care that supports their developmental needs.
Physical Health and Well-Being
Support obesity prevention in early childhood.More than 15% of children ages 6-19 and 10% of children ages 2-5 are considered overweig. According to the National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity, obesity rates have doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 20 years. Implementing QUALITYstarsNY for Early Learning and Development programs would assist programs in limiting screen time, serving meals and snacks that meet the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) meal patterns, and provide infants, toddlers and preschoolers time with developmentally appropriate physical activity, along with training for providers regarding the implementation of obesity prevention programs.
The Early Care & Learning Council is a member of Winning Beginning NY and fully supports the Winning Beginning NY legislative agenda.