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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 Congressional Response to COVID-19: On Friday, March 27, 2020 Zero to Three, Think Babies and partners hosted a web broadcast with U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro (CT-03). As Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, Congresswoman DeLauro plays a major role in funding decisions every day. Just before Congress voted and passed a $2 trillion measure to relieve the human and financial costs of the Coronavirus, with provisions that will benefit families with young children. (CARES- Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act). Congresswoman DeLauro graciously took time out of her busy schedule to share what is in the bill on issues such as child care, Early Head Start, and paid family and medical leave, and answered questions from participants. Now that this most important bill passed, she expressed how imperative it was to let our legislators know where the gaps are and to share our stories of the impact of COVID-19.”Kids are a wellspring of joy and hope. To fight for them is an honor that I do.” “All need to “think babies” all of the time”. (Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, Web Broadcast “Responding to Families Needs During the Covid-19 Pandemic: A Conversation with Representative Rosa DeLauro”, hosted by Zero to Three, Think Babies and partners on March 27, 2020).

To read more click here. 

What’s going on in NJ – On March 25, 2020, Governor Murphy issueda COVID-19 Executive Order ordering all child care centers that are not serving essential workers to close down by April 1, 2020. Child care centers that decide to stay open after April 1, 2020, centers must commit to providing services to only essential workers and follow all applicable emergency child care standards by completing the application for continued Operation child Care Services During Public Health Emergency by Friday, March 27, 2020.

To read more, click on the links below:

 https://www.nj.gov/dcf/coronavirus_licensedchildcare.html

https://www.nj.gov/dcf/news/EO110-Essential.Personnel.Childcare.3-25-20.pdf

https://www.nj.gov/dcf/news/EO.FAQ_3.25.20_DCF.pdf

https://www.nj.gov/dcf/news/DCF-Health-Safety-Standards_for_Child-Care-Centers.3-25-20.pdf

What’s coming up– Today, NJAEYC joins NAEYC and other partners to express our sincere gratitude to Congress for taking an important, bipartisan step to pass the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act. There are critical provisions that will help the early childhood education sector, addressing some of the needs expressed by parents, educators, programs, and small businesses across states and settings, including: 1) $3.5 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) to ensure continued payment and assistance to child care providers and to support child care for essential workers; 2) $750 million in grants for Head Start, including up to $500 million for support of summer programs; 3) Access to small business loans of up to $10 million that can be forgiven, if programs use the loans for specific purposes such as wages, paid sick or family leave, health insurance benefits, retirement benefits, mortgages or rent, or utilities; 4) Direct payments to qualifying taxpayers of up to $1,200 ($2,400 for couples), plus an additional $500 per child; 5) Access to a pandemic unemployment insurance benefit for four months, on top of the regular unemployment insurance benefit offered by states to qualifying individuals; and, 5) Suspension of payments on federally-held student loans to support the many early childhood educators earning their degrees and credentials.

We recognize the importance of this step however, this is not the last. Congress is already looking ahead to the next package and more assistance will be needed as the gaps are revealed.

To read more click here.

Something you might like – Caring For Each Other – Our friends at Sesame Street have developed a website that provides content and resources you can use with your family that offers comfort and sparks playful learning activities. There are also resources that offer a guide and suggestions families on topics including: Routines During “The For-Now Normal”, “Talking to Children About COVID-19”, “Soothing & Comforting” and Making Time for Play”. #CaringForEachOther

To read more click  here.

Quote we’re pondering – “In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.” “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” Fred Rogers

Wishing You All Health and Safety!

NJAEYC Public Policy Team