Monthly Archives: July 2010

Hope for North Carolina Food Banks

Listen to the story.

ASHEVILLE, N. C. – North Carolina food banks say tough economic times are making support for local food pantries that much more important, and Congress is considering legislation that would give them an important financial boost. Both the U.S. House and Senate are expected to vote on bills in the coming weeks to reauthorize and increase funding for federal child nutrition programs, including meals at schools and child care centers.

Funding for these programs has been in limbo for more than a year. If they are reauthorized, it will help food banks like MANNA better serve Asheville’s population in need, according to Joshua Stack, communications and marketing coordinator.

“Numerous studies have been done that document the effects of malnutrition on a child’s brain. And if, at the early stages of life, especially before they’re 10 years old, they’re going through too much malnourishment, then they’re never going to recover that brain function.”

Some Republican lawmakers are balking at the cost, which could be as much as $8 billion dollars to fund the legislation over the next decade, but a bipartisan group of lawmakers has said child nutrition is a critical priority.

MANNA serves 16 counties in western North Carolina. The group hopes both the House and Senate vote on the bills before their August break. Stack says there are families waiting for additional assistance, and only some of them are between jobs; others are working.

“The need has increased. Just as you see the unemployment rate nationally is at 10 percent, that means there’s a lot of people out of work. We estimate that more than one-third of the people in western North Carolina seeking emergency food assistance are employed in some fashion.”

The House bill (HR 5504) is “Improving Nutrition for America’s Children Act;” the Senate bill (S 3307) is the “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.” Current federal funding for child nutrition programs expires on September 30.

Stephanie Carroll Carson, Public News Service – NC

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Speak up about NC’s early childhood system at ECAC’s public forum next Wednesday

Next Wednesday, July 14th, the Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC) will host a public forum for feedback on the council’s strategic report .The event will take place from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh. Each speaker will have up to 3 minutes to ask questions or provide comments.

Governor Bev Perdue announced the creation of the North Carolina Early Childhood Advisory Council last week. The Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007 required governors to designate or establish a State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care to improve the quality, availability, and coordination of services for children from birth to school entry.

In the report, ECAC maintains a committment to high-quality early education and to professional development for those who serve young children and families. The council also acknowledges how the Smart Start initiative and programs like the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Project and the Assuring Better Child Development (ABCD) initivative have made North Carolina a national leader in early education and early childhood systems.

The strategic report is part of a federal grant process that, if successful, could mean $3 million for North Carolina from the federal government matched with $7 million from the state to support the work of the ECAC over the next three years.

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Call for Presentations for the 2011 National Smart Start Conference

We need your expertise! Submit your workshop proposal for the 2011 National Smart Start Conference to be held on May 2 – 5, 2011 in Greensboro, NC.

The National Smart Start Conference is the nation’s largest conference devoted to early education systems and strategies. It provides professional development for early education leaders committed to improving the quality of and access to early childhood services for all children. As such, it attracts attendees from all facets of early care and education, including government, nonprofit, community, and business leaders.

The 2011 Conference will feature workshops on:

· Early Care & Education Program & Practitioner Support,

· Policy, Public Engagement & Advocacy,

· Governance & Administration,

· Standards & Accountability,

· Research,

· Early Childhood Systems Development,

· Family Support, and

· Early Care Health & Mental Health.

Submitting your proposal is easy. Simply go to the event’s online registration page. All proposals must be submitted online.

Questions? Email conference@smartstart.org.

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Gov. Perdue Creates Early Childhood Advisory Council

Governor Bev Perdue has announced the creation of the North Carolina Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC). The Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007 required governors to designate or establish a State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care to improve the quality, availability, and coordination of services for children from birth to school entry.

Funding to support ECAC’s is awarded through a federal grant process. This process must include a statewide strategic report that outlines the responsibilities of the ECAC and the proposed plans during the three-year grant period.

From the Governor’s website:

North Carolina’s proposal will be submitted by July 31, 2010. If successful, North Carolina will receive over $3 million from the federal government matched with $7 million from the state to support the work of the ECAC over the next three years.

Public comment on the strategic report is being requested before the application is submitted. You are invited to review the North Carolina ECAC Strategic Report and submit any comments/questions using the form below. The period of public comment ends Wednesday July 14, 2010 at 3:00 p.m.

Feedback on the proposal may also be provided at the ECAC Strategic Report Public Forum on Wednesday, July 14 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh, NC. Each speaker will have up to 3 minutes to comment. Speakers may also submit written feedback at that time.

Download a fact sheet on ECAC’s from the National Governors Association.

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