December 2013

1. Message from the Chairpersons

2. NCE 2013 Highlights

3. AAP Early Childhood Updates

4. Events and Resources

5. Some Oee You Should Know

6. Federal Advocacy Update

7. Announcements


1. Message from the Chairpersons:

Dear Early Learning Advocates:

Much has happened as we continue to expand our advocacy for children and their early experiences.  Most importantly, the merger of the Section on Early Education and Child Care with the Committee on Early Childhood has happened and the expanded Executive Committee is working out the details.  We will continue to communicate our progress and reach out for help from each of you. We plan to create a structure to the Executive Committee to ensure that early education and child care continues to be a strong focus of the group.   We are excited, however, to expand our interests even more to all of the settings that young children spend time in, from home to child care.  In addition, being a Council allows us to take our priorities from policy to practice.

It was exciting to meet those of you who were able to make it to the National Conference & Exhibition (NCE) in Orlando.  See the article below for an update from the NCE.  We hope to meet many more of you next year.  Please mark your calendars now for the 2014 NCE in San Diego, October 11-14.  Our Council program (Section H) will focus on child care quality, where Dr. Abbey Alkon and Dr. Debby Cryer will present on assessing and measuring quality in early learning settings.  The brainstorming for the 2015 NCE Council Section H will begin next month.  If you have suggestions, please share them.  Also, watch for updates about possible programs.

The AAP Annual Leadership Forum will be held in mid-March.  The 2104 ALF resolutions will be published for AAP members to view on in the next couple months at  www.aap.org on MyAAP (AAP member ID and password required) under Chapters and Districts/Resolutions/Annual Leadership Forum (ALF) Information.  Please look these over and if there are issues you wish us to help promote or have concerns about, please contact us right away.  It is the opportunity for grass-roots input to the board of directors and we can carry that message.

Thanks for all you do and for being members.  We value your membership and input.

Elaine Donoghue, MD, FAAP, and Danette Glassy, MD, FAAP
Co-chairs, Council on Early Childhood

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2. National Conference and Exhibition 2013 Highlights

The 2013 National Conference in Orlando was especially exciting for our interests.  The Peds21 pre-conference that occurred at the 2013 NCE, entitled "Promoting Early Brain and Child Development (EBCD):  Building Brains, Forging Futures," was a half day exploration of early brain and child development.  Over 1000 people attended and were challenged to commit to changes in practice and advocacy for early childhood.  The presentations from Peds 21 are now available on PediaLink and can be accessed at the AAP National Conference website:  www.AAPexperience.org or going directly to PediaLink.


Our Section/Council H-Program was an afternoon with Dr. Andrew Garner reviewing the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACES) and how that informs our approach to early childhood.  In addition we heard from Dr. Nadine Burke-Harris about building her clinic in San Francisco and using the ACES to develop screening and triage tools for interventions for children and families at risk.  She is an inspiration.  We also honored Dr. Susan Aronson, as our long-time advisor for the Section on Early Education and Child Care, for all her efforts as our on-going mentor for quality early education and child care. 

Finally, we awarded our Susan S. Aronson Award, which recognizes a health care professional who has made a significant contribution to improving the health and safety of children in early education and child care settings.  This year the award went to Dr. Marilyn Krajicek, Ed.D., RN, FAAN.  Dr. Krajicek directs the National Resource Center (NRC) for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education, University of Colorado, College of Nursing/School of Medicine.  Under her direction, the AAP and the APHA joined with the NRC to develop and publish the second and now  the third editions of Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards - Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs and Stepping Stones to Caring for Our Children.


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3. AAP Early Childhood Updates:

Building Bridges Among Health Professionals and Early Childhood Systems
The Building Bridges Among Health & Early Childhood Systems project is a collaborative effort between the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) chapters and state early childhood systems. The project seeks to establish leadership in early brain and child development (EBCD) at the state level in order to develop and implement sustainable connections between medical home, Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV), early education and child care programs (Head Start, Early Head Start, Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (ECCS), etc.), and other early childhood initiatives (Project Launch, Help Me Grow, etc.). Leadership teams are composed of Chapter Child Care Contacts (CCCCs), or another chapter representative, and an additional senior level individual in each state representing early childhood and child care systems and/or home visiting.

Funding was received for a 2nd year and activities will focus on the following:

  • Establishing 10 chapter leadership projects, focusing on linkages between Home Visiting and the AAP Chapters, emphasizing EBCD and Medical Home.  The following AAP chapters have been awarded funding for Year 2: 
    • Hawaii
    • Idaho
    • Illinois
    • Nebraska
    • New Mexico
    • New York, Ch. 2
    • North Dakota
    • Rhode Island
    • Tennessee
    • Virginia
  • Targeting 26 ECCS Projects that are using the strategy of addressing Toxic Stress with additional technical assistance (TA), by providing TA calls and Building Bridges materials to states that are not already using them.

Go to the Building Bridges Web page for more information about this initiative.

Healthy Futures
The AAP Early Education and Child Care Initiatives continue to work on Healthy Futures: Improving Health Outcomes for Young Children. The overall goal of this project is to support the development and mobilization of a network of health professionals that can implement health education programs for caregivers, children, and parents involved in child care programs.

Healthy Futures Implementation and Expansion Grants: Medication Administration in Early Education and Child Care Settings
Grants for $10,000 each were awarded for implementation and/or expansion of the Medication Administration curriculum. The 9 AAP Chapters that were awarded grants include Idaho, California 4, New York 2, Nebraska, Alaska, Arkansas, Washington, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Healthy Futures PediaLink Modules
AAP Pedialink modules provide continuing education opportunities. The following two modules are available for free to Pedialink users:

  • Medication Administration in Early Education and Child Care Settings (available in English and Spanish)
  • Preventing and Managing Infectious Diseases in Early Education and Child Care Settings (available in English and Spanish)
Go to the Healthy Futures Web page for more information.


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4. Events and Resources:

Upcoming Events
1. 2013 Kristin Anderson Moore Lecture: Too Young for Technology?
This Webcast, on Friday, December 13th, 2-3 PM Eastern Time, will discuss what parents and child care providers should know about the use of digital media for toddlers and preschoolers. More information about this free Webcast, sponsored by Child Trends, can be found at http://new.livestream.com/childtrends/totsntech.

2. ACF Offers The Affordable Care Act Webinar:  What Early Care and Education Providers Need to Know 
More than 1 million home and center-based teachers and caregivers who currently do not have health insurance may be impacted by new health insurance opportunities made possible by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  A healthy individual caring for young children is an important aspect of children's ability to develop, learn, and thrive.  Health insurance and access to care can provide parents, family members, and early care and education providers with health security and peace of mind that allows better support of child learning and exploration. 

In partnership with the Head Start National Center on Health and Healthy Child Care America at the American Academy of Pediatrics, National Association for the Education of Young Children, National Association of Family Child Care, National Head Start Association, and Child Care Aware, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Offices of Child Care, Head Start, and the Chief Medical Officer are hosting a 90 minute webinar on the ACA for early care and education providers.  The webinar, on Tuesday, December 17th, from 1:00 - 2:30 PM Eastern Time,  will discuss tax and employer provisions that may affect providers, information on the Health Insurance Marketplace, and the role that early care and education providers can play in raising awareness about ACA and the Health Insurance Marketplace. 

To register for the webinar, select the link below and fill out the registration form. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information about joining the webinar: 
https://citrix.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1026599 

3. DB:PREP Course
Want to enhance your knowledge of developmental and behavioral issues? Consider attending the DB:PREP® Course! Whether you are planning to take a developmental-behavioral pediatrics board exam or just want an extensive update of the field, consider attending the DB:PREP® Course, January 29-February 2, 2014 in Atlanta, GA. DB:PREP® is a comprehensive review of developmental-behavioral pediatric medicine for both the primary care physicians and the pediatric subspecialist. The course is intended to enhance your ability to recognize and manage complex or difficult cases in developmental-behavioral pediatrics across the age spectrum. In addition, coding and payment sessions specifically for this field of medicine are offered. Robert F. Anda, MD, the co-principal investigator of the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, will provide the keynote lecture on the topic of Poverty, Social Determinants, and Disparities.  

The AAP designates this live activity for a maximum of 36.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. There is also the opportunity to possibly earn 10 American Board of Pediatrics Maintenance of Certification Part 2 points! In addition, continuing education credits are available for physician assistants, pediatric nurse practitioners, and family physicians. For more information on the course, visit www.aap.org/livecme. Registration is now open.

 

New Resources
1. Webcast Archives from Healthy Child Care America
There are three archived Webinars sponsored by the AAP Healthy Child Care America program that were recorded this summer.  Seasonal Influenza Prevention and Control (August 22, 2013); Toxic Stress and the Science of Early Brain and Child Development (August 28, 2013); and Promoting Healthy Active Living in Early Education and Child Care (July 17, 2013) are all archived and available for viewing at http://www.healthychildcare.org/Webinars.html.  Other archived webinars also are available.

2. ZERO TO THREE's Supporting Babies Through QRIS
Zero To Three's Policy Center recently released the first two documents of a new series, Supporting Babies Through QRIS.  These documents aim to help ensure that Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) are supporting the unique developmental needs of infants and toddlers. They present a national review of states' and jurisdictions' QRIS that have been implemented statewide and illustrate some examples of QRIS standards and supports that have been included across the nation to help programs promote young children's development and learning.  The series can be found at www.zerotothree.org/qris.

The Supporting Babies Through QRIS series includes:

  • Implementation Status and Tools in US States and Other Jurisdictions- A national scan of the operational status of U.S. states' and jurisdictions' QRIS, as well as links to their QRIS standards and tools
  • Inclusion of Infant and Toddler Quality Standards- Examples of QRIS standards that have been included in statewide QRIS and intentionally help programs promote the healthy development and learning of infants and toddlers
  • Self-Assessment -Tool for states and jurisdictions to identify the strengths, opportunities, and gaps in coordinated system of quality improvement for programs serving infants and toddlers (coming in spring 2014)

3. Model Child Care Health Policies
The 5th edition of Model Child Care Health Policies, written by Dr Susan Aronson, was published in October 2013.  The new edition, significantly revised and updated, is a practical tool for implementing best practices for health and safety in group child care settings. Policies in this publication are consistent with CFOC.  A PDF version of the publication is available on the Early Childhood Education Linkage System (ECELS) Web site. Hard copies of the publication can be purchased from the AAP Bookstore: Model Health Policies, 5th Edition

 4. State Child Welfare Policies and Practices That Support Infants and Toddlers 
A Policy Center webinar on November 18th featured findings from the report and share how three states' policies and practices reflect a developmental approach to child welfare services for young children. Link to the Archived Webinar and Report (published jointly by Zero To Three and Child Trends).

 5. Making the Case for Early Childhood Intervention in Child Welfare
The number of youth in foster care nationally has declined over the past decade, however, similar declines have not occurred for children under six years of age. The brief, "Making the Case for Early Childhood Intervention in Child Welfare," describes a national scan of interventions targeting families with young children and makes several recommendations to safely reduce the number of young children in foster care, including:

  • Closely follow the documented outcomes of the Title IV-E Welfare Demonstration Projects.
  • Employ a cross-systems collaboration approach and develop better linkages with integrated early learning and development systems.
  • Integrate and coordinate services with federally-funded home visiting programs in states.
  • Educate and engage judicial and court personnel.
  • Incorporate and maintain focus on early childhood development, trauma-informed care, young children's mental health and the importance of secure relationships in child welfare services, programs and policies.
  • Closely manage the use of psychotropic drugs in young children.
  • Address racial dis-proportionality.
  • Continue to evaluate programs and strategies and communicate these results to increase the menu of evidence-informed and evidence-based programs for jurisdictions to draw upon to effectively work with this population.

The Making the Case for Early Childhood Intervention in Child Welfare report concludes that because early childhood is a foundational period of development, addressing the unique needs of this population could produce tremendous opportunities to improve child welfare systems and the health and well-being of young children.

 6. Zero To Three Journal issue on Early Brain and Child Development
The September 2013 issue of the Zero to Three Journal, Early Brain and Child Development, developed in collaboration with the AAP, explores the emerging science of EBCD and opportunities for health care providers, early education professionals, parents and communities to collectively promote early social and emotional development.  To access the table of contents, one featured article and ordering information, go to the AAP EBCD Webpage for the Zero To Three Journal issue.

7. Sesame Street "Little Children, Big Challenges" Initiative
A new initiative, "Little Children, Big Challenges," launched on December 10th with a segment on the Katie Couric show! This initiative provides all new digital resources in English & Spanish that give parents, caregivers, and educators activities and positive routines to help young children ages 2-5 build resilience skills on a day-to-day basis.  Topics include everyday challenges such as being persistent, learning from mistakes, and having confidence and being independent, as well as more stressful situations such as mean or aggressive behavior, sibling rivalry, and relocation.

These free resources come in DIGITAL form, including:
A.       SesameStreet.org/Challenges- An online toolkit that features:

  • Guide for Families
  • Tip Sheet for Parents and Caregivers
  • Printables for Children
  • Activity Guide for Educators

And of course, all materials are also available in Spanish at Sesamestreet.org/Challenges/Spanish

B.       FREE Mobile App            
Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame helps children to learn strategies to calm down and solve everyday challenges, and provides parents with tips and activities.  Available in English and Spanish for smartphones and tablets on the App Store, Google Play, and Amazon Kindle
C.       Youtube.com/SesameInCommunities - featuring a playlist of videos from the project
D.       Sesame Street in Communities Video Podcasts - full length video podcasts available on iTunes for FREE download for computers and portable devices in English and Spanish
E.       Facebook.com/SesameStreetinCommunities- An online community for sharing our free project resources with the adults in children's lives

8. Docs For Tots E-Newsletter
Linking Families to Early Learning Programs: What's A Doc to Do? is the recent topic for the Docs For Tots electronic newsletter.  Access this issue to learn about early learning program resources and news.  

9. Do We Invest in Preschools or Prisons?
This article, published by the New York Times, on October 26, 2013, supports investing in early education initiatives and parent/care-giver support programs.


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5. Some One You Should Know: The Healthy Child Care Arkansas Team:

Meet the Healthy Child Care Arkansas (HCCAR) Team, a very active group who really enjoy their work:

  • Dr. Sowmya Patil- Medical Consultant and Co-CCCC
  • Dr. Maya Lopez- Developmental Pediatrician and CCCC
  • Dr. Jayne Bellando- Psychologist
  • Ms. Sandra Withers- Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Child Care Health Consultant
  • Ms. Wanda Walker- Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Child Care Health Consultant
  • Ms. Melanie Taylor- Administrator
  • Ms. Twanna Tolbert- Administrative Assistant

The HCCAR Team are faculty and staff at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences/Arkansas Children's Hospital. They are training child care workers in Arkansas (AR) on two curricula - focused on autism spectrum disorders and challenging behaviors - in addition to the Healthy Futures curricula on Managing Infectious Diseases and Medication Administration.

Spotting Autism in the Early Childcare Setting (SPAECS) is a 6-hour web based curriculum that focuses on teaching the early child care provider about autism spectrum disorders (ASD). SPAECS is a Power Point presentation with a verbal overlay so that the participant hears an explanation of slides and elaboration of the content. Videos of typically developing children and children with ASD also are highlighted throughout the SPAECS program so that participants can see how symptoms of autism manifest, how to talk to parents about concerns, and how to engage in some behavioral interventions. This curriculum may be accessed through www.healthychildcareAR.org

There are eight sections in this course:

  • Information about the diagnostic criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition;
  • Elaboration on the behavioral symptoms of ASD and how one can look for these symptoms in the classroom;
  • Debunking myths about autism;
  • Explanations of medical conditions that are associated with ASD;
  • How to successfully talk to parents about concerns for their child;
  • Interventions in the area of play;
  • Interventions in the area of behavior; and
  • How to handle melt-downs.

The course also has a pre/post evaluation of the participant's knowledge about autism and their confidence in spotting autism features and implementing evidence-based techniques.

The second HCCAR curriculum, which is currently under development, is a 5-hour workshop, entitled Managing Challenging Behaviors. The topic and workshop content was derived directly from topics that were requested by child care providers when surveyed about their training needs. There are 8 sections in this workshop:

  • Review of normal behavior
  • Review of behavioral principals
  • How to complete a functional behavior analysis
  • Other variables that impact behavior (i.e. speech, sensory, special needs)
  • Questions to consider as you equip staff, administration and your center for better behavior management
  • Putting it all together
  • How to talk to parents about behavior concerns, if you think the child needs additional support
  • Available medical and therapy interventions, if a child might need them.

This workshop will be conducted by a pediatric psychologist, developmental behavioral pediatrician, and two fellows (one in pediatric psychology and one in developmental/behavioral pediatrics). There will be a pre/post knowledge and confidence assessment for participants that will be used for quality improvement.

Additionally, the HCCAR team has become involved in the AR Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (ECCS) grant which will focus on improving health and safety for children in child care centers in Arkansas by incorporating Caring for Our Children (CFOC) standards into the state's current minimum licensing standards.

For more information about the HCCAR team and its activities in Arkansas, go to their Website: HealthychildcareAR.org


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6. Federal Advocacy Update:


Too Small to Fail
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, along with former Republican Majority  Leader Bill Frist, MD, are leading Too Small to Fail, a joint initiative of Next Generation and The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation. The goal of the initiative is to help parents, care givers, communities and businesses take meaningful, evidence-based action to prepare young children to succeed.

The AAP announced a new partnership with the Too Small to Fail via a video address from Secretary Clinton at the Pediatrics for the 21st century (Peds21) symposium at the National Conference & Exhibition in October.  The AAP will partner with the initiative to work on activities to improve the health and well-being of children ages 0-5.  Too Small to Fail focuses on early learning (with an initial focus on vocabulary development), early health and nutrition, and family stress; these topics correlate with many of the AAP activities.

Federal legislation - Smart Start
The AAP sent a letter of support for the Strong Start for America's Children Act (S. 1697/H.R. 3461), a bill designed to promote universal access to preschool through a formula grant program to states. Introduced by Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Representatives George Miller (D-Cali.) and Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), the bill is a 10-year initiative designed to expand and improve early education opportunities for children 0-5. This legislation is similar in scope and effort to the president's universal preschool program, which AAP has endorsed.

This legislation would create a new federal-state partnership providing formula-based funding to states to support the provision of high-quality preschool to four- year-old children in families earning less than 200% of the federal poverty level (FPL), with the opportunity to expand to serving three-year-old children when universal access is achieved for four-year-old children. The bill would also encourage states to fund preschool for children above 200% of the FPL. The bill authorizes $27 billion in federal funding over the first five years of the program for the formula grants and creates another grant program to support state development of high-quality preschool in states where it is not widely available.

In addition, the legislation includes coordination with child care and early learning programs from age 0-5 to improve school readiness and link early learning with elementary school education. The bill also includes a Sense of Congress about the importance of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program. Current endorsees of the legislation include the Children's Defense Fund, CLASP, the EVERY Child Matters Education Fund, the First Focus Campaign for Children, Moms Rising, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the National Head Start Association, Ready Nation/America's Promise Alliance, and Zero to Three. The AAP will continue to articulate the importance of strong health standards and building upon already existing effective programs in achieving universal access to preschool.


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7. Announcements:

 Call For Newsletter Committee

The Council on Early Childhood is recruiting a few volunteers to assist in the ongoing development of our newsletters (published electronically 3 times per year).  If you would like to assist in the development of content and work on new ideas for improving our newsletter communications, please consider volunteering. Contact Charlotte Zia at czia@aap.org, or at 847-434-7870, if interested or with any questions. 

 


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