Two partisan ESEA reauthorization bills unveiled in Senate, mixed bag for afterschool and summer learning
funds would still flow by formula to state education agencies that would then hold competitions at the state level. Partnerships of local education agencies (LEA) and public entities or non-profit organizations would be eligible to apply for funding, with either the LEA or the public entity or non-profit serving as the lead funded entity.
Last week Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Richard Burr (R-NC), Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) introduced the bipartisan Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2013. The bill reauthorizes the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) for the first time in more than 17 years. Under the legislation, states would be required to ensure that all child care providers who care for children through the Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) receive health and safety training in specific areas, comprehensive background checks, and on-site monitoring. The legislation does recognize the specific training and support needed for school-age caregivers.
More than 500,000 providers serve about 1.6 million low-income children through CCDF, including about 600,000 school-age children in afterschool, before-school and summer learning settings. Children ages 6 to 13 represent about 33 percent of all children receiving CCDF assistance. School-age children receive about $1.7 billion of all CCDF funds. The bill authors are soliciting feedback on the legislation prior to scheduling a mark-up of the bill. The Afterschool Alliance is preparing recommendations for the bill’s sponsors that would strengthen the school-age care components.
Do you provide care to children through CCDF? Please contact us with feedback on the reauthorization bill.
On May 16, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) announced newly proposed regulations for the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF). Join Shannon Rudisill, director of the ACF's Office of Child Care, on June 14 at 1 p.m. EDT for a webinar where she'll present on the new rule proposal, including its potential impact on afterschool and school-age programs and providers.
According to ACF, this proposed rule would strengthen health and safety requirements for child care providers, reflect current state and local practices to improve the quality of child care, infuse new accountability for federal tax dollars, and leverage the latest knowledge and research in the field of early care and education to better serve low-income children and families. The proposed rule would only apply directly to child care providers who accept CCDF funds. More than 500,000 providers serve about 1.6 million low-income children through CCDF, including about 650,000 school-age children in afterschool and before-school settings. Many more children would benefit, however, because the providers also serve non-CCDF children.
The Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) was last authorized in 1996, and Congress continues to work on a new reauthorization bill that was introduced in the Senate earlier this week. The regulation is currently open for comment until Aug. 5, 2013. The complete proposed rule can be accessed online.
Register for the June 14 webinar here.
- Receive health and safety trainings in specific areas
- Comply with applicable state and local fire, health and building codes
- Receive comprehensive background checks (including fingerprinting)
- Receive on-site monitoring
While Congress is currently engaged in debate over immigration policy and the 2013 farm bill, two other policy issues are waiting patiently in the wings for their chance in the spotlight. There is a possibility that the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee and the House Education and the Workforce Committee will mark up their own versions of Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization bills in June. At the same time, progress is slowly being made by the Appropriations Committee staff in both the House and the Senate on FY2014 spending bills. Now is a great time to weigh in on both of these issues:
- Contact your senators and representative to encourage them to support afterschool and summer learning as part of ESEA by co-sponsoring the Afterschool for America’s Children Act, S. 326. This bipartisan bill will enhance the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) initiative by strengthening school-community partnerships among other improvements.
- Funding for 21st CCLC and the Child Care Development Fund remain critical. Contact your senators and representative to express how sequestration and the economy have impacted access to afterschool programs in your community. Call on them to support funding for afterschool and summer learning programs in the FY2014 appropriations process.
Thank you for taking action on behalf of the 18 million children who would be engaged in afterschool programs this afternoon if a program were accessible to them.
From Alabama to Washington state and places in between, afterschool programs are embracing the USDA Child and Adult Care Feeding Program’s (CACFP) At-Risk Afterschool Meals program. This spring, hundreds of afterschool programs are providing nutritious meals at no cost to those children who need them most. With summer around the corner, providers are also taking part in the Summer Food Service Program to ensure young people have the nourishment they need when school is out. Here are a few examples from around the country:
- In Huntsville, Alabama, and the surrounding area, children will be able to receive three meals per weekday during the summer as part of Huntsville City Schools’ new Summer Feeding Program. Young people under the age of 18 will be able to enjoy up to three meals per day at no cost at 10 area schools through the Summer Food Service Program. Summer learning programs will be offered at most of the schools allowing students to nourish both minds and bodies.
- The Albuquerque Journal recently reported on a number of schools in Albuquerque, New Mexico, including Kirtland Elementary School, that started serving a meal as part of their afterschool program.
- The Safeway Foundation is partnering with Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland to develop community- and clinic-based programs designed to reduce the burden of childhood obesity. The program seeks to fund nonprofit organizations with innovative programs to address childhood obesity. The goals of the program are to empower innovative programs to expand and enhance services, increase capacity, and/or incorporate new strategies to support healthy body weights among children and/or adolescents; evaluate the impact of existing programs; and identify promising approaches that could be replicated, adapted, and implemented in diverse communities nationwide. Applicants must be 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, or have a fiscal sponsor that is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The applicant does not have to be affiliated with a healthcare facility or clinic. Applicants must be based within 10 miles of a Safeway store (with some flexibility for regions with low-density stores). Proposed programs must use an inter-disciplinary model that includes at least one partnership with a community, clinic, business, and/or school. Initially, the Safeway Foundation is committing $2 million to support about 15 one-year awards. The amounts awarded may range from $3,000 to a maximum of $100,000 depending on the specific needs of the project. The majority of awards will be within the range of $40,000 to $75,000. The complete Request for Proposals and the online application form are available at the Safeway Foundation website. Applications are due May 15, 2013.
- Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK) recently extended the deadline to May 3, 2013, for their School Grants for Healthy Kids for the 2013-2014 school year. Around 400 schools will be awarded funds that will range from $1,000 to $5,000 with significant in-kind contributions from AFHK in the form of people, programs, and school breakfast and physical activity expertise. AFHK will also provide schools with management expertise and support to develop strong alternative and universal breakfast or physical activity programs. Award amounts will be based on building enrollment, project type, potential impact, and a school's ability to mobilize parents and students around school wellness initiatives. Grants are available in select states. Note only schools are eligible to apply. The Physical Activity grants provide funding for facilities and equipment for recess, playgrounds/play-spaces, classroom energizers, physical education, intramural and/or before- and afterschool programs that introduce underserved youth populations to the value of an active lifestyle. Learn more through Action For Healthy Kids.