Pages tagged "Early Childhood"
Blueprint Shows How 116th Congress Can Act on the Best Interests of Children (more…)
First Focus Campaign for Children applauds the introduction of the Maternal CARE Act and the opportunity to to reduce the number of African American women who are at risk of maternal and infant mortality.
African American women face a high risk of maternal mortality and their children have significantly higher rates of infant mortality than white and Latino children of the same age. As a children’s advocacy organization, First Focus believes all children, and moms, regardless of their race or socioeconomic status, must have a chance to build a bright future.
Our nation’s children face an array of problems, including poverty, violence, abuse, neglect, hunger, poor nutrition, education inequity, homelessness, lack of health coverage, infant and child mortality, and family separations in mixed-status households. These obstacles demand attention, policy solutions, political will, and action that to make children a priority.
Unfortunately, kids are far too often an afterthought in Congress. The problem is that children can’t vote and don’t have Political Action Committees (PACs) that garner and demand attention.
Children need Champions and Defenders, who are willing to focus on, support, raise their voices, and attach their name to legislation that would improve the lives of our nation’s children and actively oppose legislation that would harm kids.
In an attempt to recognize the lawmakers in the First Session of the 115th Congress who are actively working and trying to improve the lives of our nation’s children through public policy change, to improve the lives of our nation’s children through the policy process, we are pleased to present our Champions and Defenders for Children Scorecard.
See also the previous award recipients:
First Focus Campaign for Children released its 2017 Champions Scorecard. In an attempt to recognize the lawmakers in the First Session of the 115th Congress who are actively working and trying to improve the lives of our nation’s children through public policy change, to improve the lives of our nation’s children through the policy process, we are pleased to present awards to 120 legislators who have made children a priority.
The 2017 Champions for Children Scorecard includes key votes on health-related bills and amendments to tax legislation, including two House votes on the Children’s Health Insurance Program, two Senate votes on child tax credit amendments, and four votes between the two chambers on the Affordable Care Act. Learn more and view the report at www.championsforchildren2017.com.
Thank legislators who put the needs of children over politics, and share this scorecard resource by using our social media kit.
July 19, 2018, Washington, D.C.—In a year marked by partisanship, several Members of Congress stood out as Champions and Defenders of children, according to the 2017 Legislative Scorecard released by First Focus Campaign for Children (FFCC), a national bipartisan children’s advocacy group.
“Even though child advocates had to defend a whole range of legislative and regulatory attacks on children, we identified 120 Members of Congress who chose to make children a priority. We commend their leadership and hope they will inspire their colleagues to do the same,” said Bruce Lesley, President of the First Focus Campaign for Children.
Of note is that, in the 115th Congress, women are 2.6 times more likely to be named a champion or defender of children than men.
The 2017 Champions for Children Scorecard includes key votes on health-related bills and amendments to tax legislation, including two House votes on the Children’s Health Insurance Program, two Senate votes on child tax credit amendments, and four votes between the two chambers on the Affordable Care Act.
For instance, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law in December 2017 (P.L. 115-97) will increase the deficit by approximately $1.5 trillion, which the next generation will pay off well into the future. The deficit will also trigger cuts to numerous programs vital to children, including Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) offered an amendment to further expand the CTC by increasing its refundability (make it refundable against payroll taxes), which would have benefitted lower income families. Sadly, despite 68 senators voting for it, the amendment did not pass as senators failed to overcome opposition from Senate leadership and the Trump Administration.
In July 2017, the Senate voted down the “Health Care Freedom Act” (H.R. 1628), which would have resulted in an estimated 16 million Americans losing health coverage and a 20 percent increase in insurance premiums. The First Focus Campaign for Children strongly opposed the bill, and we thank all the members of the Senate who voted against it, including Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and John McCain (R-AZ).
Out of 90 bills that FFCC is tracking, The Child Poverty Reduction Act of 2017 (S.1630/H.R.3381), would mandate that the federal government create a plan to cut the number of children in poverty by half in ten years and to eliminate child poverty in twenty years. That legislation was sponsored by Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) and Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL), who accumulated the most points in the Senate and House for their votes and work on legislation for children.
This is First Focus Campaign for Children’s eighth annual class of Champions and Defenders for Children.
Champions for Children
- Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
- Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
- Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ)
- Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
- Sen. Robert Casey (D-PA)
- Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)
- Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV)
- Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL)
- Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
- Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA)
- Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
- Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)
- Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI)
- Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
- Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)
- Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL)
- Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY)
- Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
- Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)
- Rep. Lou Correa(D-CA)
- Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT)
- Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL)
- Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA)
- Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO)
- Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)
- Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA)
- Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI)
- Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN)
- Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ)
- Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL)
- Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL)
- Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX)
- Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI)
- Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)
- Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA)
- Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
- Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM)
- Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM)
- Rep. James McGovern (D-MA)
- Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI)
- Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL)
- Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI)
- Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA)
- Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
- Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-NV)
- Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA)
- Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL)
- Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)
- Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL)
- Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA)
Defenders of Children
- Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO)
- Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE)
- Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
- Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)
- Sen. Angus King (I-ME)
- Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
- Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
- Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV)
- Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA)
- Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)
- Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
- Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
- Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
- Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT)
- Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI)
- Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI)
- Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM)
- Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
- Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
- Rep. Nanette Barragán (D-CA)
- Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA)
- Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR)
- Rep. André Carson (D-IN)
- Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO)
- Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA)
- Rep. Ryan Costello (R-PA)
- Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL)
- Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA)
- Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY)
- Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA)
- Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
- Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL)
- Rep. Gene Green (D-TX)
- Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA)
- Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX)
- Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA)
- Rep. John Katko (R-NY)
- Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA)
- Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI)
- Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ)
- Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI)
- Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI)
- Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL)
- Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA)
- Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY)
- Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA)
- Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX)
- Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ)
- Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
- Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-CA)
- Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL)
- Rep. Robert Scott (D-VA)
- Rep. José Serrano (D-NY)
- Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL)
- Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA)
- Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH)
- Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA)
- Rep. Michael Turner (R-OH)
- Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL)
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The First Focus Campaign for Children is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization affiliated with First Focus, a bipartisan children’s advocacy organization. The Campaign for Children advocates directly for legislative change in Congress to ensure children and families are the priority in federal policy and budget decisions.
The Prematurity Research Expansion and Education for Mothers who deliver Infants Early Act (PREEMIE Act) focuses on strategies to reduce the devastating toll of preterm births, has had a positive and measurable impact on our understanding of the root causes of prematurity, which in addition to exposing children to a host of negative health and developmental conditions, is one of the leading causes of infant mortality.
From 89.3 KPCC:
One of the items on Congress' long to-do list of things to accomplish before the fiscal year ends is reauthorizing federal funding for home visitation programs that support parents and infants.
The law supporting the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program is set to expire Sept. 30.
Some of the programs at greatest risk as this threat of funding loss looms are the 25 tribal organizations across the country. California is home to three such programs in Lake County, Alameda County and Riverside-San Bernardino counties.
"We do get nervous sometimes," said Priscila Jensen, program director of the Riverside‐San Bernardino County Indian Health Home Visiting Program, which started running in 2012. "At the same time...READ MORE.
Home Visiting Coalition
Home Visiting Coalition disappointed in program lapse; vows to continue effort for reauthorization
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sept. 29, 2017 — Despite strong bipartisan support, the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program (MIECHV) expires on Saturday, Sept. 30. The Home Visiting Coalition called the anticipated program lapse a disappointment, especially in light of decades of evidence that MIECHV-funded home visiting models improve the health, development and education of young children.
“MIECHV will expire and the longer that Congress takes to reauthorize this bipartisan evidence-based program, the more likely local home visiting programs will shut down, home visitors will lose their jobs, and families will lose home visiting services Quick action by Congress is the only way to prevent anxiety among families in every state and many tribal communities, and prevent further damage to the home visitor and parent relationships that make the MIECHV program so effective,” said Diedra Henry-Spires, CEO of the Dalton-Daley Group and co-convener of the Home Visiting Coalition.
The Home Visiting Coalition also reiterated its call for quick passage of the bipartisan Senate bill (S. 1829), which reauthorizes MIECHV for five years without the harmful state-match requirement included in the House bill that passed this week. The Coalition intends to redouble its efforts to see MIECHV through to reauthorization as its outcomes are both desired and effective.
“It’s astounding to me that a program with a long history of bipartisan support couldn’t quickly be reauthorized before it expired. We remain committed to seeing this through and will continue to work with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle. MIECHV must get reauthorized quickly and in a way that preserves what works and continues to provide the home visiting services tens of thousands of families have come to rely on,” said Karen Howard, vice president of early childhood policy at First Focus Campaign for Children, and co-convener of the Home Visiting Coalition.
About the Home Visiting Coalition: The Home Visiting Coalition is a diverse group of organizations committed to the well-being of children, working to promote continued federal support of home visiting to strengthen families in communities across the country. Voluntary, evidence-based home visiting programs improve the health, development, and education of young children. These programs set the stage for children and families to become self-sufficient and successful.
On March 27, the First Focus Campaign for Children submitted a letter of support to US Representative Joaquin Casto for his leadership in introducing the Pre-K Parity Act (H.R. 1013).
The Pre-K Teacher Parity Act would expand the Educator Expense Deduction to allow early childhood instructors to deduct up to $250 for teaching expenses. This additional resource would be beneficial for both the teachers and the students of early childhood programs.
By recognizing Head Start and Pre-Kindergarten teachers with their K-12 colleagues, the Pre-K Teacher Parity Act would acknowledge the value of early educators for our nation’s children.
American Health Care Act would jeopardize care for children and families
Washington, DC—The American Academy of Pediatrics, Children’s Defense Fund, Children’s Dental Health Project, Family Voices, First Focus Campaign for Children, March of Dimes and National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners issue the following joint statement opposing the American Health Care Act’s (AHCA) drastic changes to Medicaid and their detrimental impact on children and families:
“Our organizations represent children, pregnant women, families, children’s health care providers, hospitals and advocates across the country, and we speak with one voice today to urge the U.S. House of Representatives to keep Medicaid strong for children and vote ‘no’ on the AHCA. This bill ends the Medicaid program as we know it, jeopardizing coverage for the 72 million vulnerable Americans – primarily children, pregnant women, seniors and people with disabilities – who rely on Medicaid for their health care.
“Children make up the single largest group of people who rely on Medicaid; nearly 36 million children receive Medicaid coverage, including children with special health care needs and those from low-income families. Medicaid also provides comprehensive prenatal care to pregnant women, allowing millions of pregnant women to have healthy pregnancies and helping millions of children get a healthy start. Unlike many private health insurance plans, Medicaid guarantees specific benefits designed especially for children. Medicaid’s Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) benefits are the definitive standard of pediatric care, covering an array of services like developmental, dental, vision and hearing screenings, and allowing health problems to be diagnosed and treated appropriately and as early as possible. Simply put: Medicaid works. In fact, children in Medicaid are more likely to get check-ups, miss less school, graduate and enter the workforce than their uninsured peers.
“Medicaid is able to provide affordable, comprehensive care for every child because of the strength of Medicaid’s state-federal partnership. The program already provides flexibility to states and allows each state to meet the needs of its Medicaid population when a natural disaster, public health crisis like the current opioid epidemic or economic recession increases the number of people enrolled and the cost of providing services.
“The AHCA includes harmful proposals to restructure Medicaid, and the changes to AHCA unveiled on Monday evening go from bad to worse, allowing even more damaging changes to the program. In addition to the bill’s initial proposal to fund Medicaid through per capita caps, the amendments would allow states to choose a block grant model, which would eviscerate existing protections afforded to children and pregnant women in the Medicaid program. Comprehensive EPSDT benefits would no longer be required for children, allowing states to ration limited dollars by drastically cutting back pediatric services.
“Block grants and per capita caps have a singular purpose, to reduce federal funding to states. In a bill that is supposed to be improving care for Americans, block grants and per capita shift costs from the federal government to the states, putting pressure on states to come up with the resources to cover their Medicaid patients when federal funds run out and costs inevitably rise. These drastic changes would place politicians, rather than health care providers, in charge of health care for children, pregnant women and families. Whether a life-saving childhood vaccination, a wheelchair or a hearing aid, politicians should not be the ones determining who gets what coverage, which providers offer those services, and what families must pay.
“The AHCA does not make coverage more affordable for families. In fact, it makes it harder for families to afford premiums in the individual market and phases out the option for states to expand Medicaid to cover more low-income adults, which has led to tremendous cost savings for states and better health outcomes for families across the country. Having healthy parents means children are healthier, too. Restructuring Medicaid financing, and opening the door to harsh work requirements for Medicaid enrollees, as the AHCA proposes, are not only bad for state budgets, they are harmful to child health.
“The AHCA’s provision allowing states to deny Medicaid coverage unless mothers and fathers are working is especially onerous. This provision would mean that a married, pregnant woman could be required to return to work 60 days after giving birth in order to keep her Medicaid coverage. Maintaining health coverage for mothers after birth is essential for infants’ healthy development. Among adults with Medicaid coverage, about 80% are in working families; this proposal is not only short-sighted and dangerous, it offers a solution to a problem that does not exist.
“In short, our organizations are united in opposition to any threat to Medicaid that would jeopardize the gains we’ve made in children’s coverage and dismantle a pillar program that millions of families rely on. More children are insured today than at any time in American history; the AHCA will reverse that progress. We urge Congress to oppose the AHCA and to instead pursue policies that prioritize children and keep Medicaid strong.”
Earlier today, many of our organizations joined a letter with more than 400 organizations dedicated to improving the well-being of children from all 50 states and the District of Columbia to urge Congress to keep the unique needs of children and their parents front and center as they consider any changes to the nation’s health care system.
About the American Academy of Pediatrics
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 66,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds.
About the Children’s Defense Fund
The Children’s Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.
About the Children’s Dental Health Project
The Children’s Dental Health Project (CDHP) is an independent nonprofit that creates and advances innovative policy solutions so that no child suffers from tooth decay. Based in Washington, D.C., CDHP is driven by the vision of all children achieving optimal oral health in order to reach their full potential. We use data measurement and analysis to advance models that incentivize oral health, not just payment for treating the symptoms of dental disease. CDHP seeks to lead the way toward a health care system that is truly inclusive of oral health, from payment to care delivery. Learn more about CDHP at www.cdhp.org.
About Family Voices
Family Voices is a national, nonprofit, family-led organization promoting quality health care for all children and youth, particularly those with special health care needs. Working with family leaders and professional partners at the local, state, regional, and national levels since 1992, Family Voices has brought a respected family perspective to improving health care programs and policies and ensuring that health care systems include, listen to, and honor the voices of families.
About the First Focus Campaign for Children
The First Focus Campaign for Children is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization affiliated with First Focus, a bipartisan children’s advocacy organization. The Campaign for Children advocates directly for legislative change in Congress to ensure children and families are a priority in federal policy and budget decisions. Learn more at campaignforchildren.org and follow on Twitter at @Campaign4Kids.
About the March of Dimes
The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs.
For the latest resources and health information, visit our websites marchofdimes.org and nacersano.org. To participate in our annual signature fundraising event, visit marchforbabies.org. If you have been affected by prematurity or birth defects, visit our shareyourstory.org community to find comfort and support. For detailed national, state and local perinatal statistics, visit persistats.org. You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
About the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners:
The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) is the nation’s only professional association for pediatric nurse practitioners (PNPs) and their fellow pediatric-focused advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) who are dedicated to improving the quality of health care for infants, children, adolescents and young adults. Representing more than 8,500 healthcare practitioners with 19 special interest groups and 50 chapters, NAPNAP has been advocating for children’s health since 1973 and was the first NP society in the U.S. Our mission is to empower pediatric-focused PNPs and their interprofessional partners to enhance child and family health through leadership, advocacy, professional practice, education and research. NAPNAP.org