“In like a lion, out like a lamb”—isn’t that what they say about March? Despite a few lingering cold spells, the city is finally starting to come alive with the sights and sounds of spring. We also have the opportunity to enjoy the blooming cherry blossoms as we gear up for our biennial Symposium event in Washington, D.C. next week.
March has been a busy month for Child Care Aware® of America, including the following highlights from across the organization.
Around the Country
On March 14 and March 28, Michelle McCready, Chief of Public Policy and Research, provided guest lectures to Master of Social Work students at George Mason University on the importance of involving clients in advocacy efforts, highlighting the following topics:
- The legislative process
- The Child Care Development Block Grant law and history of child care
- Maximizing grassroots advocacy
Bonnie Storm, Senior Director of the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) Respite Care attended a meeting of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation Caring for Military Families Respite Council meeting on March 8 in Washington, D.C. to participate in a status update on steps to increase and improve respite care opportunities for military families.
The parent and provider services team has also been managing the Army Fee Assistance Program transition from the General Services Administration to CCAoA. The program officially launched with CCAoA on February 22, and we are currently accepting applications from Army families and providers. Phase one of the Army Fee Assistance Program transition is complete. For the most up to date information on the transition, and to interact with other Army families, “like” the Army Fee Assistance at CCAoA Facebook page and follow them on Twitter. The Army Fee Assistance website will also continue to provide updates throughout the transition.
Online and On-Air
On March 23, Krista Scott, Senior Director of Child Care Health Policy, and Jen Bump, Senior Director of Practice Innovation, conducted a webinar titled “Child Care 201: Statute to State Systems.” The webinar discussed the Child Care Development Fund’s authorizing statute, the Child Care and Development Fund, and how components of state systems inform state child care plans submitted to the Administration for Children and Families. Krista and Jen also gave an overview of the diverse landscape of Child Care Resource and Referral agency systems.
From March 20-26, 2016, CCAoA celebrated the 54th annual National Poison Prevention Week. This is an important issue; more than half of the 3 million annual calls to poison centers each year are for children younger than six years of age. CCAoA was recently added as a member of the National Poison Prevention Week Council, which assists with the coordination of National Poison Prevention Week events and promotes poison prevention year-round. You can learn more about poison prevention by reading our blog post.
Senior Director of Emergency Preparedness, Andrew Roszak, presented on the Florida Department of State, Division of Library and Information Services / Tampa Bay Library Consortium’s Florida Library Webinars program. Andrew discussed preparing for disasters, special considerations for children, and resources that libraries can use to engage children in preparedness efforts.
Finally, the emergency preparedness team is busy creating new tools, publications, resources, and training options. In an effort to make these materials more readily available to you, we are building out an online resource center that covers all things concerning child care preparedness. More information, including tools and resources, will be available soon at www.childcareprepare.org.
ICYMI: March in the News
On March 7, Congresswomen Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Katharine Clark (D-MA) introduced the Child Care Access Means Parents in Schools (CCAMPIS) Improvement Act of 2016.
CCAMPIS is the only federal program that supports child care services on college campuses for low-income parents, and services are provided year-round. According to numerous studies, the number of parents attending college has grown significantly over the last 15 years, and many colleges eliminate child care services, leaving parents with the burden of trying to find safe, quality care while balancing their course schedule.
This program is authorized under the Higher Education Act, and CCAMPIS funds about 85 programs annually on a $15 million appropriation. The Duckworth/Clark bill would provide a permanent extension of the program at $67 million annually.
Building Out the Team
We are pleased to welcome Julie Looper to the CCAoA team. Julie joined the policy team as Senior Advisor for Emergency Preparedness. She is originally from Kansas where she received her Bachelor’s degree in sociology with an emphasis in Children and Families from Emporia State University. Shortly after graduating, Julie moved to the Oklahoma City area and worked in public health preparedness and emergency response at the Oklahoma City Health Department.
The family and community engagement team also recently welcomed April Dodge-Ostendorf, who will serve as an Engagement Specialist to support the W.K. Kellogg Foundation grant, and Jennifer Drake, National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Senior Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Specialist.
The CCAoA office recently moved to another floor! Please make note of our new address: 1515 North Courthouse Road, 3rd Floor, Arlington, VA 22215.
Symposium 2016 is right around the corner, and Child Care Aware® of America is pleased to offer livestreaming as part of this year’s event! Individuals who are not able to attend this premier event in Washington, D.C. now have the opportunity to virtually attend all seven plenary sessions for $199. Virtual conference attendees will be able to view live plenary sessions and have access to recordings of these sessions after the event. Visit our virtual conference page for more information or to register today!