2015 was a big year for child care and early education as bipartisan bills were passed, programs were funded and organizations and individuals continue to recognize the impact of a child's development has in their homes, communities and ultimately our nation's future.
- The year started with President Obama declaring child care a national economic priority in his State of the Union Address.
- A House Appropriations Subcommittee held a bipartisan hearing solely on the issue of early childhood education.
- Head Start turned 50 and new proposed standards were released and commented on.
- No Child Left Behind Act was replaced with Every Student Succeeds Act which included early childhood education (this is a first to be included in a major federal education bill).
- And a spending bill was passed in Congress which included an additional 1 billion dollars in federal spending for Early Childhood!
These are all great but let us not forget the other major events impacting child care in 2015!
- USDA released the proposed rule for the The Food Program (CACFP) new meal pattern and thousands of people and organizations commented on it. For more information check out www.cacfpmealpatterns.com or USDA's page .
- States are working on putting their plans together for their implementation plans for the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG). This is HUGE and a good time to pay attention to what is going on in Policy in your state. Here is a google search that will show you what is happening in the last month.
- Child Care Aware of America published their 2015 report of the cost of child care
- "Child Nutrition Reauthorization will not pass in 2015. The Senate Agriculture Committee will make it a priority for January 2016. Advocacy is still needed to ensure a strong child nutrition bill." ~Alert from FRAC.org. This act funds and regulates the food program, summer foods, and school nutrition.
- The national press has taken an interest in the conundrum of child care and early educator wages and the high cost of child care for families.
- A documentary was created to highlight early childhood and the future of our nation - Raising America
- Resources are being created to help providers understand and apply physical activity in their care and with the children! For example, the free GoSmart application which can be accessed on your desktop or your mobile device. Made by the National Head Start Association (to be used by anyone that has or works with children) and funded by NIKE.
And we can't forget that the CACFP Take Action Challenge was launched in October. This is the perfect opportunity to not only discuss health and wellness in child care programs, and CACFP's integral part of that, but BE an example of health and wellness in our programs and daily lives. This could be the perfect resolution you've been looking for. Take part in the CACFP Take Action Challenge - get points and get recognized for the great work you are doing! For more information: http://www.cacfptakeactionchallenge.org/. Be on the look out for the hashtag and use it to talk about what you are doing! #cacfptac
What would you share about this year in child care and early education?