November 17, 2017

In this Issue:

  1. State Policy Update: October 2017
      Source: The Ounce of Prevention Fund
  2. Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome
      Source: The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM)
  3. Race for Results - 2017 Policy Report: Kids Count
      Source: Annie E. Casey Foundation
  4. Persistent Gaps: State Child Care Assistance Policies
      Source: National Women's Law Center
  5. Supporting Diverse Children and Workers in Early Childhood Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS)
      Source: Migration Policy Institute
  6. Kids' Share 2017: Federal Expenditures on Children through 2016
      Source: Urban Institute
  7. Thousands of Parents are Enrolling their Children in Online Preschool
      Source: Hechinger Report

1. State Policy Update: October 2017

Source: The Ounce of Prevention Fund

The Ounce national policy team has released its State Policy Update. This update provides an overview of finance and policy changes in early childhood care and education by state during the 2017 legislative sessions as of September 2017. Agendas and ideas in development for 2018 are also included.

2. Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

Source: The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM)

An article published by NEJM in December 2016 provides valuable information about neonatal abstinence syndrome, an opioid withdrawal syndrome that affects most newborns (55 to 94%) whose mothers were addicted to or treated with opioids during pregnancy. Some topics discussed are toxicologic testing and assessment tools for identifying infants at risk, supportive care, treatment, and long-term outcomes.

3. Race for Results - 2017 Policy Report: Kids Count

Source: Annie E. Casey Foundation

The 2017 Race for Results report (October 2017) from the Annie E. Casey Foundation assesses equity in children's education, health and economic progress by race and ethnicity, both nationally and at the state level. It also examines those obstacles that prevent children of color and/or in immigrant families from accessing economic opportunities needed to have positive outcomes. Recommendations and data tables are also provided.

4. Persistent Gaps: State Child Care Assistance Policies

Source: National Women's Law Center

Child care costs cause financial stress to families and force parents to use lower-cost care or to not join the workforce, even when better options exist for their children. These costs especially affect low-income families. While child care assistance can reduce these challenges for families and some progress has been made for families to access assistance, twenty states had waiting lists or had to freeze new intakes for child care assistance in 2017; and co-payments remain high in many states. Read more in this in-depth analysis (October 2017) from the National Women's Law Center of states' child care assistance programs and their policies. See data tables that begin on page 27.

5. Supporting Diverse Children and Workers in Early Childhood Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS)

Source: Migration Policy Institute

The Migration Policy Institute issued a report in August 2017 that acknowledges the growing numbers of young children with immigrant parents - now more than 10% in a majority of states. The report offers states several strategies that can be used to safeguard QRIS are accessible, equitable, and culturally responsive to effectively serve dual language children and families. In addition, the report examines how 18% of the early care early education workforce are immigrants, and this population brings valuable skills to the field that can help bridge the cultural gap between home and school.

6. Kids' Share 2017: Federal Expenditures on Children through 2016

Source: Urban Institute

The Urban Institute released its 11th annual report, Kids' Share 2017 (October 2017) that provides an updated analysis of federal, state and local expenditures on children through 2016 and an updated forecast of children's spending in the future. The report projects that Federal spending on children's programs will drop from 9.8 to 7.5 percent over the next decade.

7. Thousands of Parents are Enrolling their Children in Online Preschool

Source: Hechinger Report

"Advocates say online preschool has the potential to address two serious problems with the current state of preschool: access and cost." However, experts like the American Academy of Pediatrics caution that extended media use for preschool children is harmful, causing poor executive functioning and impaired cognitive, language, motor, and social-emotional skills. A recent article from the Hechinger Report Early Education Series (November 2017) discusses this and the results of the UPSTART pilot program, an online kindergarten-readiness program, that several states have implemented. Currently, over 30 percent of Utah's 4-year-olds are using the program. UPSTART has also expanded into Idaho, Indiana, South Carolina, Ohio, and Philadelphia.