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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

The coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to bring new challenges for us all. NJAEYC hopes that you and your families are safe and healthy. We are all in this together and we will get through these uncertain times together. What we do know is that meaningful, positive interactions are more important now than ever for children, families and educators. Be well and stay well!

What’s going on in the US – In an article by Marion Wright Edelman entitled “Is this Ever Going to End” focused on the recent video interview that Wil Smith conducted with Dr. Anthony Fauci where Dr. Fauci answered questions from children and teenagers. One question that resonated was from a 16 year old who asked, “Is This Ever Going to End?”. Dr. Fauci responded that he was confident that this was going to end, although not going away completely but we are working on a vaccine that will help build immunity in our communities. He cautioned that this may take a year and it is tough for us but it is something that will go away. Dr. Edelman indicated that in a new report by the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University, “Forecasting Poverty Rates during COVID-19 Crisis”, shows that poverty rates in the US could reach their highest levels in 50 years due to COVID-19 and children could see their poverty rates rise 53 per cent. She urges our legislators to embrace the opportunity to change course and work to ensure that all children and families can survive and thrive. She points out that all of us must urge the Senate leaders that now is not the time to be modest in its investment to critical services for our children and families.

To read more click here:  – www.childrensdefense.org

What’s going on in NJ – On May 29th Governor Murphy announced that NJ’s child care centers can reopen beginning June 15th. The state’s reopening plan includes: 1) New health and safety guidelines mirroring existing emergency child care guidelines.; 2)A $20 million fund for health and safety grants and each center can receive up to $5,000. This will help child care programs obtain supplies and materials needed to meet rigorous cleaning and maintenance procedures.; and; 3) Centers will continue to receive subsidy payments throughout the month of June for slots of children enrolled through the State’s child care subsidy program for families with lower incomes.

To read more click here and here 

In an article in USA Today on May 17, 2020 (updated on May 19, 2020) “Coronavirus Child Care Crisis Tops Concerns As Nation Pushes to Reopen. Parents Ask, “Who Will Watch Our Children?”, Jessica Guynn, outlines the issue that as the nation pushes to reopen parents realize that they can’t return to work without someone to watch their children and if they can find child care is this putting their children at risk. In this article, Patricia Cole, Senior Director of Federal Policy for Zero to Three states that “the lack of child care is the biggest barrier to the economy’s bouncing back. Child care is foundational to our nation’s ability to our nation’s ability to recover from this crisis”. Cole states that the COVID-19 crisis has plunged the child care industry into a crisis that our nation has never seen. With 90% privately run, already child care centers were expensive to operate and stay afloat on meager profits. Now with one third of the caregivers and other staffers laid off, these workers often get by on poverty wages and public assistance, unable to afford child care for their own children. Now child care advocates argue the nation’s already fragile system is at risk of collapse. They are lobbying for billions more in federal aid to ensure reliable child care is available to parents. NJAEYC urges you to contact your legislator and let your voice be heard regarding this serious issue facing NJ’s child care industry.

To read more click here

What’s coming up– Starting June 1, NAEYC will offer 100 presentations by NAEYC experts and presenters from all sectors of the industry. The presenters include policy experts, higher education faculty, school leaders, researchers and educators. The Virtual Institute is open to anyone who is interested in some of the latest research and best practices in early childhood education. The Virtual Institute is free of charge and is NAEYC’s gift to you for all that you give to young children and their families.

To read more click here

Something you might like – NPR along with our friends at Sesame Street has released a “Just For Kids Life Kit” featuring the furry blue monster, “Grover”. One of Grover’s tips is to focus on the present. He shows children how to play a mindfulness technique and encourages all to think about five things that you can see. There is also a new episode for parents from Sesame Workshop’s developmental psychologist Rosemarie Truglio.

For the Sesame Workshop click here.

Quote we’re pondering –  “The question is not whether we can afford to invest in every child, it is whether we can afford not to.”Marian Wright Edelman

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud” – Maya Angelou

 

Wishing You All Health and Safety!

NJAEYC Public Policy Team