Monthly Archives: May 2009

A $250 million plus budget error!

We just learned that the House HHS appropriations committee made some type of error in their calculations about the target and that has created the need for an additional $250-300 million cut for the HHS budget. This means that early childhood programs could be at significant risk for much larger cuts. We expect the House subcommittee to have to address these cuts this coming Tuesday.

Please be in touch with your representatives again this weekend and tell them to hold the line!

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Filed under budget, Child Care, Early Childhood, Legislative and Governmental, Uncategorized

NC Lt. Gov Committed to Early Childhood Ed

dalton-letter-graphic

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Filed under budget, Child Care, Early Childhood, Legislative and Governmental, Uncategorized

Living on the Edge

“When we fail to provide children with what they need to build a strong foundation for healthy and productive lives, we put our future prosperity and security at risk.”
Dr. Jack Shonkoff, a pediatrician and founding director of Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child

Unfortunately, that foundation is being compromised in North Carolina. The number of young children in our counties is growing each year. Yet, the services to ensure their healthy development and growth are being cut each year. Closing this gap is critical for our future economic prosperity and a more immediate economic recovery.

A new fact sheet shows how North Carolina is stepping back from its investment in early childhood. Budget cuts are hurting our economy, our families, and our children.

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Filed under budget, Child Care, Early Childhood, Legislative and Governmental, Uncategorized

Talk to Reps While They’re Home

While we all could use a break this Memorial Day weekend, now cannot be the time to sit back. Please try to reach your legislators this weekend while they are home.

What you need to do this weekend. . .
Find your legislators. Tell them why early childhood is critical to the future of their communities and the State. Remind them of this quote by Dr. Jack Shonkoff: “When we fail to provide children with what they need to build a strong foundation for healthy and productive lives, we put our future prosperity and security at risk.”

It is a critical time for them to hear about the need to protect programs for young children. If you can’t find them this weekend, send an email, fax or voice message so they hear our voices and remember the children next week.

If you do talk to your legislators, please share what you heard in the comments section on this site.

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NC House Discussing Early Childhood Cuts Today

Today, the House Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee will discuss the budget and cuts to all Division of Child Development programs, including Smart Start. In preparation for that discussion, the subcommittee met yesterday to release the schedule for completion of the House version of the budget and to set out the rules that will govern the subcommittee’s work. Listen in this morning (Wednesday) to the HHS subcommittee meeting; www.ncleg.net, audio, Appropriations Committee Room 643 at 8:30 a.m.

The Child Care Coalition put forth the following report.

What is the bad news on the money?
At this time, the House plans to develop a budget without any tax increases. That means the House budget will have to cut even more from both the Governor’s and Senate’s budget proposals. For HHS, this means a further reduction in the HHS part of the budget of $720 million more. The Division of Child Development (DCD) is 6% of the HHS budget, the third largest part behind Medicaid (65%) and Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities/Substance Abuse (MH/DD/SS) (15%). Social Services and Public Health are just behind DCD; 5% and 4% of the DHHS budget.

What are the ground rules for the subcommittee work?
Some of the more interesting rules for the subcommittee are as follows:
1) Attention should be focused on the core mission of various divisions of DHHS
2) Non-profit expenditures should be able to be justified (a common request each year)
3) no expansion requests except for Medicaid requirements
4) the subcommittee can look at consolidations of programs such as pre-k (Smart Start/More at Four/DCD), but all decisions will be made by the eight “Big Chairs, ”
5) propose a continuation review for at least one large program or division (this has been a recent request by Appropriations over the last several years with the review conducted by the General Assembly’s Program Evaluation Unit).

What is the schedule for the rest of the House budget deliberations?
May 19, 20, 21, 22: Subcommittee meets to go over DHHS Divisions and discussion of what to cut (Open)
May 26, 27: Subcommittee continues to meet with work completed on May 27. (Open meeting)
May 28: Subcommittee report to Full Appropriations Chairs (not an open meeting)
June 1, 2, 3: All the budget subcommittees continue to report to the Full Chairs (not open meetings)
June 4, 5: Subcommittees vote on their final report ( open meetings)
June 6 – June 14: Full Appropriations Chairs review all subcommittee reports – they can change anything they want coming out of the subcommittee reports.
June 15: House Full Appropriations Committee (to vote on the House budget)
June 18: House passes the budget bill – 2nd and 3rd reading
June 19: Conferees appointed (to negotiate with the Senate to come out with a final budget for the state)
June 30: Conference Report Adopted (the House and Senate conferees agree to a final budget the last day of the fiscal year.

Action Needed: Contact members of the House HHS subcommittee all this week. Ask that cuts be made fairly. Be specific about the DCD programs of importance to your community.

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Public Hearing on Child Care and Development Fund Plan

The North Carolina Division of Child Development is currently preparing NC’s 2010-2011 Child Care and Development Fund Plan. A public hearing is scheduled for June 2, 2009 from 4:30-6:00 PM in Room 300 at 319 Chapanoke Road, Suite 120, Raleigh, NC 27603 to solicit input and comments.

We need to ensure that DCD uses these funds to help stabilize families and protect children while we rebuild the economy. Two essential components in any plan must be to maintain high quality and help families looking for work. Doing so will ensure our children’s continued healthy growth and development, and therefore our state’s future prosperity. Make sure you share your comments both in writing (as described below) and at the hearing.

DCD writes:

The purpose of the federal Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) block grant is to increase the availability, affordability, and quality of child care services. Through this grant, states are given flexibility to develop child care programs and policies that meet the needs of children and parents within their state. CCDF funds are used to support North Carolina’s regulatory and licensing system which insures the health and safety of all children in child care. A minimum of 4% of CCDF funds are used to support quality initiatives which impact all families whose children are in child care. These funds also support the NC Subsidized Child Care Program which helps to pay the cost of child care for income eligible parents who are trying to achieve economic independence by working or attending school. The NC Subsidized Child Care Program provides funding to support the child care needs of nearly 160,000 children each year. This year’s total CCDF grant amount is estimated to be approximately $190 million.

The proposed plan will be available after May 18, 2009 at the following locations:

1. The N.C. Division of Child Development, 319 Chapanoke Road, Suite 120, Raleigh, NC 27603, or

2. On the Division’s website at www.ncchildare.net, by clicking on the “What’s New” link.

Written comments will be accepted through June 2, 2009 and my be submitted via electronic mail or through the US Mail. Comments should be addressed to:

Mary Staak
2010-2011 CCDF Plan Comments
N.C. Division of Child Development, DHHS
2201 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-2201

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The President’s Early Ed Budget

While the North Carolina House is putting together its budget, more details are coming out at the national level on President Obama’s budget.

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