The Baby Monitor


Federal Policy

Government Shutdown Jeopardizes Vital Programs for Babies

Congress returned to Washington last week amid a partial government shutdown. As we reported in a previous edition of The Baby Monitor, a spending package for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 that included funding for the Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Departments, covering many programs for babies and their families, was passed in September 2018. But still, babies remain at risk. In addition to tens of thousands of babies whose economic security is upended as their parents are furloughed, without funding, vital programs that provide food and shelter for many babies and families are at risk of running out of money to operate. While a few programs have pieced together funding to keep their doors open for a couple of months, families are still left in limbo.

The House of Representatives has passed bills that would reopen the government, funding most government agencies through the end of FY 2019, and providing funding for the Department of Homeland Security through February 8th. For now, the next steps for the Senate are uncertain, with threat of veto from the President. While negotiations continue, the basic needs of babies and families across the country hang in the balance.

Read ZERO TO THREE’s full statement on the shutdown.

State Policy

Louisiana Rolls Out Early Childhood Ancillary Certificate Requirement

Thanks to a new program in Louisiana, beginning July 1, 2019, all lead teachers in publicly-funded early learning centers will hold or be working toward the state’s new Early Childhood Ancillary Certificate. The Certificate is a professional credential for teachers who are working in child care programs and is part of the state’s effort to unify the early childhood system and professionalize the workforce. The Certificate builds on the Child Development Associate credential and has added components of classroom observation time, mentoring, coaching, and practice teaching.

To help teachers earn the new credential, the state provides scholarships for training, and there is no out-of-pocket fee to obtain the credential. In addition, early childhood educators who receive the new credential and stay in the field will be eligible for a refundable tax credit of more than $3,000 annually. To learn more, click here.

Get Involved

New Year. New Congress. New Chances to #ThinkBabies!

The 116th Congress is open, and each and every member – whether new to Capitol Hill or returning – has the opportunity to be a champion for babies. It’s time to welcome the new Congress and let them know what you know: the future begins with babies.

Join us in asking your Members of Congress to resolve to #ThinkBabies in 2019. Customize your Twitter message to focus on the supports babies and families need to thrive, including quality, affordable child care; paid leave; healthy emotional development; and physical health and nutrition. Not yet on Twitter? Get started with these easy-to-use tools!

Resources & Publications



Innovation in Cross-System Collaboration to Better Support Babies
States achieve better outcomes for infants, toddlers, and families when they work collaboratively across systems, and when services are coordinated and connected. A new series from ZERO TO THREE, Innovation in Cross-System Collaboration to Better Support Babies, shares examples of how states are connecting systems to collaboratively meet the needs of babies, young children, and families.


ZERO TO THREE Annual Conference – Call for Proposals

ZERO TO THREE’s Annual Conference brings together professionals from all disciplines looking to learn about up-to-date research, best practices, and policy developments in the field of early childhood. Please submit your proposals related to policy and advocacy that impact children under 5 years old (including the prenatal period) and their families. Find out more about submission guidelines on the Call for Proposals site, which closes February 19, 2019 at 11:59 PST.

National Home Visiting Summit

The National Home Visiting Summit is taking place January 31-February 1, and for the first time, all four plenary sessions will be live streamed to the field, free of charge. Review the plenary sessions and register here. Recordings will be available after the conference to those who register.

Brain Development and Childhood Adversity

The National Conference of State Legislatures recently released a new Our American States podcast, Brain Development and Childhood Adversity. Listen to ZERO TO THREE Board Member, Dr. Ross Thompson, and Dr. Nadine Burke-Harris explore the critical importance of positive early brain development and the negative impacts of adverse childhood experiences.

The ZERO TO THREE Policy Network is a vehicle for professionals to use their knowledge and expertise to impact public policy for infants, toddlers, and their families. We do not share your information.

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