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Week of the Young Child is April 24-28
Are you ready for NAEYC’s 2017 Week of the Young Child™? NAEYC’s celebration takes place April 24-28 with five themed days packed with fun—and we want you to join us!
We’ll be sharing activity ideas each day of the week that show how play and learning can be meaningful, productive, and fun. Join in the celebration and experience children developing important skills as they sing, dance, cook, work together, create art, and honor families! This year's themes are:
Music Monday, April 24: Sing, dance, celebrate, and learn
Tasty Tuesday, April 25: Healthy eating and fitness at home and school
Work Together Wednesday, April 26: Work together, build together, learn together
Artsy Thursday, April 27: Think, problem solve, create
Family Friday, April 28: Celebrating and engaging families
Share your celebrations with NAEYC and PennAEYC on Facebook or post them to Twitter using the hashtag #woyc17. Not on social media? Share your activities and ideas by emailing email@example.com. NAEYC will keep an eye out for your posts, emails, and tweets and share some of our favorites. Your posts could also be featured in NAEYC daily recap emails!
2017-18 State Budget Proposal
Governor Wolf set investing in the children of Pennsylvania as a top priority in his 2017- 2018 budget address. During his speech to the Legislature he declared, “There should be no greater priority for government than caring for and educating our children.” We agree. The Governor's budget proposal includes:
$35 million for child care
$65 million for Pre-K Counts
$10 million for Head Start
- $9 million for evidence-based home visiting
$19 million for early intervention
We are encouraging the Governor and Pennsylvania Legislature to work together to support these increases in early care and education. However, the House of Representatives voted on April 4 to these funding levels:
Contact your Senator and ask them to restore funding levels to Governor Wolf's proposed levels. Find your Senator here.
Proposed Federal Budget
On February 28 President Trump announced that his Administration wanted "to work with members of both parties to make child care accessible and affordable." On March 16 the President released a budget blueprint that, with its proposed deep cuts to non-defense discretionary programs, undermines this very goal, as well as the goal of an American future that is both competitive and creative, with opportunities to help all children and families succeed.
The President's budget is a request to Congress (more details to be released in May), but if this blueprint were to be enacted according to the budget narrative, it would result in an 18% cut to the Department of Health and Human Services and a 13% cut to the Department of Education. It would mean cuts to programs in areas like housing, after-school, nutrition, teacher professional development, student aid, health care, work-study programs, literacy and more - all programs that support our current and future workforce, and the health and well-being of the families, schools, and communities in which our children are cared for and educated.
While early care and education is identified as a high priority for the Department of Health and Human Services, the overall 18% decrease in the agency's budget would make it challenging to provide support for the already underfunded child care system, one in which the vast majority of children (84%) do not receive the support for which they are eligible.
NAEYC is looking to Congress to respond to the President's proposed budget by building on the bipartisan commitment to early childhood education - not by slashing discretionary spending, but by investing wisely in supports for children, families, and educators. This includes helping low- and moderate-income families choose and afford quality child care by protecting and increasing funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), which was reauthorized by Congress in 2014 with strong bipartisan support.
A substantially increased investment in CCDBG is needed to implement the new provisions of the law while maintaining the number of children and families who are able to learn and work with its support. This investment would also help build a stronger early childhood education profession by supporting increases in payment rates for early childhood educators. This is important because skilled, supported, and knowledgeable early childhood educators provide high-quality early childhood programs - and an average wage of $10.40/hour undermines that quality and diminishes the benefits to children, families, and our economy.
NAEYC believes that there are smart tax, budget and education reforms that can support our goal of increasing access to high-quality early learning for all children birth through age 8. But wholesale domestic funding cuts fail to take into account the fact that America can only win when we invest in our future - which means investing in our children, families, and educators, and the communities in which they live. In the coming months, the President and Congress must make changes to the budget by rejecting and reversing cuts, investing in child care and early learning, and building a future that is stronger and brighter for all.
TAKE ACTION: Call your elected officials in Congress
Tell them how important it is for them to reject the wholesale domestic funding cuts to programs that support our current and future workforce, and the health and well-being of the families, schools, and communities in which our children are cared for and educated.
Tell them we need them to build on the bipartisan commitment to early childhood education and protect and increase investments in child care, Head Start and early learning.
WHEN CALLING MEMBERS IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, urge them support families and children needing child care by signing on to the Dear Colleague letter from Representatives Bobby Scott (D-VA), Katherine Clark (D-MA), and Marcia Fudge (D-OH), which supports an increased investment in CCDBG as well as support for Part B of IDEA.
Adopt A Legislator
Our state legislators need to hear from everyone who cares about our youngest learners. That means parents, family members, teachers, community members, business and civic leaders—and they need to hear from us over and over again! The Pre-K for PA Campaign urges you to implement the Adopt A Legislator program at your facility. These instructions will help you begin the process, which also includes sending your legislator an introduction letter and adoption certificate.
Then, all you have to do is use your creativity to expand on these themes and invite others to do the same. Once you have a project complete, bring it to your local legislator's office, mail it to them or email them photos. Contact information for your legislators can be found here. Stay in touch with your legislator frequently and be sure to invite them to all the activities you are holding at your site.
|PennAEYC, DVAEYC and PAEYC |
Lead Statewide Campaign
As part of strengthening the early childhood
community, PennAEYC, DVAEYC and
PAEYC are part of a statewide campaign
advocating for high quality pre-k for every
3 and 4 year old in Pennsylvania. The
public funds available for pre-k in
Pennsylvania help fewer than twenty percent
of 3 and 4 year olds access high-quality
programs. As a result, to many families
cannot find or access high quality pre-k,
which is essential to PA's children.
The goal is by 2018, every at-risk child will have access to a high-quality pre-kindergarten program and middle-income families will more easily afford these services for their children. To accomplish this goal, Pennsylvania policymakers must invest an additional $470 Million over the next 3 state budgets.
We need you, our members, to join
us in this effort. Sign up at www.prekforpa.org, like us
at facebook.com/prekforpa, or follow
on twitter @prek4pa
|Early Learning PA:|
All Children Ready to Succeed
PennAEYC has joined with a number
of other early learning advocacy
organizations to launch the Early
Learning PA Campaign, with a goal
that by 2020, all Pennsylvania children
will have access to high quality early
learning opportunities to do their best-
now and in the future.
Early Learning PA is a statewide,
non-partisan campaign supported by a
broad-based coalition from around the
commonwealth committed to advocating
for a comprehensive early childhood
system that ensures that Pennsylvania's
children, particularly its most vulnerable
have access t the education and support
they need to enter school ready to learn.
Sign on to the campaign at
or follow us on twitter @ELPAtweets