Here is our monthly dose of “5-Bullet-Point Friday” a list of NJAEYC public policy stuff we think you might be interested in.

Anything that is BLUE, just click on it for more details

What’s going on in the US – The U.S. Census Bureau is the federal government’s largest statistical agency and is dedicated to providing current facts and figures about America’s people, places, and economy. Federal law protects the confidentiality of all individual responses the Census Bureau collects. The U.S. Constitution requires that each decade we take a count or a census of America’s population. The census provides vital information for you and your community. This information includes determining how many representatives each state gets in Congress and is used to redraw district boundaries. Communities rely on census statistics to plan for a variety of resident needs including new roads, schools, and emergency services. Each year, the federal government distributes hundreds of billions of dollars to states and communities based on Census Bureau data. April 1, 2020 is Census day, an important reference point for the Bureau. It is recommended that families and households try to complete their questionnaires before the end of April. This is the best way to reduce the likelihood of a Census worker visiting them in person to collect their responses. Then, beginning in May, Census workers will begin to canvas neighborhoods. This work will continue into July. 

To read more click here.

What’s going on in NJ – This month NJAEYC joins ACNJ to help spread the word on the importance of the NJ 2020 Census. We join ACNJ to work to ensure that everyone in NJ is counted. Over 150,000 children under age 5 live in hard to count areas in New Jersey and 27,000 young children were missed in the 2010 Census. The Census is so much more than a head count. Its results will impact New Jersey for the next 10 years. It impacts more than $22.7 billion in federal funding for NJ and impacts how many seats in the House of Representatives, its number of votes in the Electoral College and our voting district boundaries.

To read more click here.

What’s coming up– Focusing on the NJ Budget – So how does the budget process work in NJ? The first phase of our state’s budget process took place on February 25th 2020 with Governor Murphy presenting the state budget. We are happy to inform you that the Governor’s proposed budget again reflects his continued commitment to young children. So how does the budget process work? 

1) February 25th – Governor Murphy presented the proposed budget in his State of the State address; 

2) March – The Senate and Assembly Budget Committees will hold hearings for public testimony. (Everyone is invited to tell their stories!); 

3) Late June – The legislature will vote on the budget; 

4) End of June – Once the budget is passed by the legislature, the governor will sign it into law.

What does this mean for us? NJAEYC will partner with ACNJ as there is still plenty of advocacy work to be done. NJ had great success last year getting additional funding to increase the child care subsidy reimbursement rate, but this is just the beginning. 

Join us in raising our voices even louder this year to let legislators and the governor know that more funding is still needed for child care! Stay tuned for more details regarding this most important budget timeline.

To read more click here.

Something you might like – The State of America’s Children -This month the Children’s Defense Fund released the latest update of their landmark report, The State of America’s Children® 2020. The stories and statistics highlight concerning facts and make it clear that there is more work to do as a nation to invest in our children. This new report gives advocates and policymakers the data and stories needed to make a change.

To read more click here.

Quote we’re pondering – “We are at a critical moment in this country where the question is not why invest in early childhood?’ It’s ‘how do we invest in early childhood “Sarah Rittling, Executive Director of the First Five Years Fund, speaking at an event where Bank Street released a new report:  –“Investing in the Birth-to-Three Workforce: A New Vision to Strengthen the Foundation for All Learning”.

Have a wonderful weekend, all!
NJAEYC Public Policy Team