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Posts Tagged ‘Head Start’

In case you missed it last month, on July 8th Rally4Babies hosted a virtual rally on Google+. Rally4Babies is a partnership sponsored by Zero to Three (The National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families). The event, hosted by Soledad O’Brien, featured guests Secretary Arne Duncan, U.S. Department of Education, and Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Department Health and Human Services.

O’Brien and her guests talked about the success of Head Start, Early Head Start, Home Visiting Programs and other programs offering early childhood education.  Secretary Sebelius described how babies are learning every day, and emphasized that a safe, secure and stimulating environment both inside and outside the home can “make a world of difference” in language development and other fundamental skills.  Along those same lines, Secretary Duncan is concerned because low-income children who do not have the advantage of quality early learning experiences can start Kindergarten a year, to a year and a half, behind their peers.

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Backed up by research from Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child, we know babies begin developing the skills necessary for lifelong learning shortly after birth. The Center’s InBrief report, Executive Function: Skills for Life and Learning, tells us the optimal window for dramatic growth occurring between ages 3 to 5. (more…)

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It bothers me to read recent reports implying the budget sequestration has not been all that bad. While some dire consequences, such as furloughing federal prison guards, air traffic controllers and border patrol agents, have been avoided, one thing is now perfectly clear: poor and at-risk Americans are bearing the brunt of the funding cuts and there is no relief in sight. I want to link readers to a few resources that drive that point home.

Congress moved quickly to end furloughs causing delays at our nation’s airports, but there are still lines of people waiting for housing assistance, job training, or a slot for their child in a Head Start program. All of these programs offer critical services, and all suffered funding cuts due to sequestration.

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Greg Kaufman, poverty correspondent for The Nation, and Moyers & Company,  has kept a close eye on how low-income families are faring under budget cuts. Through a series called Sequester Watch, Moyers & Company has tracked the effects federal cuts are having on housing assistance, food programs for seniors, Head Start and job training programs.

I’ll list the articles and some of the interesting issues from the series here:

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