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.
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.
Weak financial management stops too many afterschool and youth-serving nonprofits from winning grants, planning realistically, and doing all they can to fulfill their missions. Organizations with strong financial management are better able to fulfill their missions as well as plan and deliver high-quality services.
The Northeast Network of Statewide Afterschool Networks would like to invite you to attend a free webinar in partnership with Fiscal Management Associates (FMA), a leading financial management consultant for nonprofits, and The Wallace Foundation. This webinar is designed to help you learn how to build your organization's fiscal strength and that of your provider network through a new, free suite of online resources at StrongNonprofits.org.
You will hear from the creators of the website how to tailor it to your needs, and you'll also get advice from a leading expanded learning non-profit organization.
Date: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Graduation is around the corner for high school seniors across the country. This is often a time of reflection; reminiscing about the past four high school years—the friendships, relationships, lessons learned, teams, clubs, dances, classes and activities. But if we asked seniors to look back at their last four years and evaluate their learning experiences, how many of them would agree that they were engaging and relevant to their lives? How many would say they felt a sense of ownership and agency over their learning? How many would have a strong and supportive adult mentor to point to that guided them through their middle adolescent years?
A new report, “Realizing the Potential of Learning in Middle Adolescence,” by Drs. Robert Halpern of the Erikson Institute; Paul Heckman of the University of California, Davis; and Reed Larson of the University of Illinois emphasizes high schoolers’ enormous potential for learning if in the right learning environment, given the necessary supports and afforded specific opportunities for growth. Yet despite the research that shows middle adolescence—the period from ages 14 to 18—is the time when young people begin to develop advanced and complex forms of reasoning and analysis; increase their capacity to understand the dynamics of systems, institutions and individuals; and learn more about their interests, strengths, voice and beliefs, the authors find that a number of high schoolers are disengaged, bored at school, lack direction, and leave or drop out of high school without the skills they’ll need in the workplace.
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.
Last week I attended the “Reimagining Education: Empowering Learning in a Connected World” summit and was inspired and moved by the dedication and passion expressed in the room to change the current educational circumstances of young people in our nation. Everyone in attendance was focused on the goal of making sure all youth are prepared for the unique challenges of our time, equipped with the knowledge, skills and support they need to succeed. It was impressive to hear thinking around creating a new ecosystem for learning that recognizes that learning takes place everywhere and makes it relevant to young people—drawing on their interests; connecting them to their peers and to mentors; and linking both interests and relationships to academics, career and community.
I was blown away, and in some cases a little starstruck, listening to speakers that included astronaut Leland Melvin, NBA All-Star and afterschool advocate Chris Paul, Howard University student and afterschool program graduate Marcus Prince, and Digital Youth Network founder and DePaul University Associate Professor Nichole Pinkard. I walked away from the two-day event excited about the possibilities and enthusiastic to further participate in reimagining education.
Sarah Cruz is the director of expanded learning opportunities for the Statewide Network for New Jersey’s Afterschool Communities, NJSACC. NJSACC promotes and supports the development, continuity and expansion of quality programs for children and youth during the hours after school.
We know that many afterschool programs engage youth in great hands-on experiences from arts and crafts and basketball to chess and step teams. What we need to know and promote to our colleagues and communities, policy makers and parents is how high-quality afterschool activities can support learning that takes place during the school day.
In New Jersey, we learned how this is possible from our pilot Supporting Student Success (s3). Funded by Charles S. Mott Foundation—in partnership with the National Conference of State Legislatures, Council of Chief State School Officers, and the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices—we learned that afterschool programs can align and support school day learning when program leadership is intentional about the activities, experiences and interactions youth have while attending afterschool programs.