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Posts tagged ‘population health’

Kansas Dodge City Head Start delivers artwork to U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts

Posted Mar 25, 2011

Dodge City Head Start families and supporters delivered children’s handprint artwork to remind policy makers the future of more than 240 federal Head Start students and 52 Kansas Early Head Start children is in their hands.
The group visited U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts’ office Thursday to deliver the artwork and invided Roberts to visit Bright Beginnings Early Childhood Center to see the critical education, health and support services Head Start offers the local community.

By Dodge City Daily Globe: LINK to Article

Florida News: Congress shouldn’t cut Head Start

Article by The Florida Courier
Written by Fcadmin

    After being urged by President Obama to invest in our nation’s students, you would think our federal lawmakers would do anything they could to preserve a program that sets the foundation for a lifetime of achievement, right?

    Wrong.  Once again, Republicans are moving to cut a program that helps average Americans and, in this case, specifically the poor.

    The Head Start Program is yet another social program the Republican Party has targeted for major cuts.  Head Start provides educational and health services to low income children and their families.

    Head Start has been one of the most studied early education programs since it began more than 40 years ago.  The program has proven itself to be one of the United States’ most successful social experiments and an efficient use of taxpayer dollars.  Research shows students who complete Head Start do better both socially and academically and are less likely to drop out of high school.?

    Yet, Republicans want to cut the program by more than 22 percent.  They say Head Start isn’t as effective as supporters claim.

    To be fair, some studies show that achievement levels of some Head Start attendees start to drop off after first grade. However, this could speak to the quality of the school they enroll in after the program. Additionally, the program’s opponents say too much money is spent maintaining the program and not enough on enrolling new students.

    It’s not clear if the Republican Party is against poor people, working mothers, low-income children or all three.  All of the cuts its leaders have moved to make have been to programs the support and empower the poor.  If they are successful in taking away the building blocks that many have used to create a foundation for future success, America’s middle class will continue to shrink and the numbers of families living below the poverty line will increase.

    If the Republicans were serious about balancing the budget, they’d take a look at programs with inflated and misappropriated budgets, starting with the military.  Sure, it’s critical that the U.S. has a strong military in place, but studies have shown that program is rife with wasteful spending. It’s not the only area where money is either being wasted or being misused.  A good, honest budget scrub will show the Republicans – and Democrats – just which programs can handle significant cuts.

    If you believe in the power of Head Start and can testify to how it helped a child – past or present – in your life, call your elected officials.  Let them know that they absolutely cannot cut Head Start.  Our children’s – and our nation’s – success depends on it.

    Judge Greg Mathis was elected a Michigan Superior Court judge, the youngest in Michigan’s history. He has hosted “Judge Mathis,” a reality-based courtroom show, since 1999.

    Article by the Florida Courier, LINK to Article

    Washington DC: Educare early childhood center breaks ground in Ward 7

    Washington Post Artilce, Posted at 06:15 PM ET, 03/16/2011 

    By Bill Turque

    Mayor Vincent C. Gray may have gotten a little swept up in the moment at Tuesday’s groundbreaking for the Educare early childhood center in Parkside-Kenilworth. In hammering the point that it’s never too early for early childhood initiatives, the mayor said: “Frankly, if I were in a position to have a fetus in the program, I’d do it.” He added: “We don’t know what’s going on in the intrauterine experience” that might enable an unborn child to benefit.

    The intrauterine experience not withstanding, Tuesday was a big day in Ward 7 as the Educare facility finally launched. The $12 million project, spearheaded by the Buffett Early Childhood Fund (headed by Susie Buffett, daughter of the billionaire investor) was due to break ground as early as last summer but ran into a thicket of local issues involving labor, land ownership and governance. The plan now is to open in early 2012 and serve 171 at-risk infants, toddlers, preschoolers and their families.

    Buffett, the J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation are among the private funders underwriting construction of the building, adjacent to Neval Thomas Elementary School. It will be operated by a local partnership that includes the United Planning Organization (the local Head Start grantee) and funded with a combination of D.C., federal and private dollars. It will be one of 12 Educare schools operating across the country in an effort to raise the quality of birth-to-5 services for low-income families.

    Officials envision Educare as a critical cog in the D.C. Promise Neighborhood Initiative, similar to New York’s Harlem Children’s Zone. Educare, Thomas Elementary and the Parkside campus of Cesar Chavez Public Policy Charter School (grades 6 through 12) would help provide the basis for a web of continuous social and educational services.

    A consortium of community groups led by Chavez won a $500,000 grant last fall to continue the planning effort. Other major players include America’s Promise Alliance, chaired by Alma Powell, wife of former secretary of state Colin Powell, and City Interests, headed by developer Alan Novak.

    By Bill Turque  |  06:15 PM ET, 03/16/2011

    LINK to Article

    Maryland: Why Frederick County official flunks on Head Start

    Washington Post, Letter to the Editor

    Regarding the March 4 Metro story “A woman’s place? Frederick official gets an earful for sharing his view.”:

    Frederick County Commissioner Paul Smith thinks that a woman’s place is in the home? His wife thinks that women are working in order to “live in a mansion.” He needs a reality check.

    Women whose children are in Head Start are not working so that they can live in a mansion. These women are working because they have two choices: work for money or go on welfare. And Mr. Smith made it abundantly clear what he thinks about people taking money from the government.

    Mr. Smith should know that it is not just poor children who benefit from preschool. Studies show that children who attend preschool do better in school and get along with their peers better than children who were kept home until kindergarten.

    Melissa Yorks, Gaithersburg

    l

    It is discouraging to see a Frederick County official vote against Head Start funding when he does not seem to understand its purpose. Head Start is the first rung on the public-education ladder for young children whose parents cannot afford to send them to private preschool. It is not day care.

    These children need a head start because primary education has changed since Paul Smith and I went to school, indeed since my children went to school. Kindergarten curriculum is now like first grade was and first grade like second grade.

    To use his religious beliefs on “God’s divine design” to deny young children the opportunity to succeed in their first years of school is just wrong. He punishes the children based on his judgment of their parents.

    Mr. Smith, fund Head Start. It’s the best investment Frederick County can make.

    Betsy Tervo, Laurel

    l

    As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I would prefer that Paul Smith not use the church’s “Proclamation on the Family” as an argument against Head Start.

    The proclamation says that mothers are the primary nurturers of their children. I suppose that Mr. Smith might argue that any government program that helps the disadvantaged indirectly encourages mothers of young children to seek employment outside the home. However, the proclamation also states, “Disability, death, or other circumstances [i.e., divorce or abandonment] may necessitate individual adaptation.”

    Members of the church are strongly encouraged to help the disadvantaged. I also sympathize with Elizabeth Sprague, who was abandoned by her spouse. Situations like hers happen all too often, even to members of the church, although I would hasten to add that no man would find any justification from the church for abuse or abandonment.

    Washington Post: LINK to Article

    Our Services

    At Blooming Head Start, we recognize that your program is full of caring and passionate staff that want to put their strengths      towards improving and implementing your program in the best way possible but aren’t always sure what those best implementation methods could be. Additionally, staff are often burdened with day-to-day issues that keep them busy and stressed to make the best day possible for the families they serve. If your organization does not effectively utilize your staff’s interests and passion, you could risk letting hem be misguided and even extinguish their enthusiasm due to disorganization and lack of support.

    Our trainings work to alleviate those day-to-day problems and address organizational issues from a stand-alone, unbiased perspective. When your administrative and implementation daily issues can be alleviated, and staff get the training they need, your program can then best utilize their creative and professional skills to the best of their ability, thus helping your program bloom into the program it was always meant to be.

    Through our trainings and consulting advice, we providing common sense and technical solutions and institutional change for conducting long term efforts with technical advice for efforts such as procedural file review and administration. We also provide technical training in the areas of health, nutrition, safety, and transportation that satisfy surpass Head Start standards. Please click on the tabs above to learn more about each one of our programs

    Training and technical assistance is geared for both existing long-term programs as well as new start up programs in center-based and home-based operations. We hope our efforts will not only improve inter-organizational communication, but also ultimately improve the lives of the children and families in which you serve.

    Services: Our trainings and services are customized to the needs of your organization.

    1. Staff Training
    2. Policy and Procedure Development
    3. Form and Tool Development
    4. Operational/Managerial Advising
    5. Human Resource Solutions
    6. Office Culture Analysis and Management

    Our Services fall into these categories:

     

    For additional information, please contact: Info@Go-MCH.org

     

     

    Cutting federal workforce also means cutting taxpayer services

    By Joe Davidson, Tuesday, January 25

    If you thought the two-year pay freeze President Obama and Congress imposed on federal employees would mollify Republican calls for harsher worker sacrifices, you would be wrong.

    The Republican Study Committee, a group that makes up almost 70 percent of the Republicans in the House, wants more.

    Cutting spending to 2008 levels, as House Republicans proposed last year, would be just the start for the committee members.

    Under the committee’s Spending Reduction Act of 2011, “at the beginning of the next fiscal year on October 1, 2011, [non-defense] spending is further reduced to 2006 levels and frozen there for the next decade,” the committee said last week. “To help achieve these savings, the bill shrinks the size and cost of the civilian federal workforce and specifically targets over 100 budget items and spending reforms.”

    But what the committee doesn’t readily address is what their cuts would mean for the many services Uncle Sam provides his customers.

    For example, would waits for Social Security, veterans and discrimination claims grow? Would there be fewer workplace inspections? Would it take longer to approve drugs?

    Committee Republicans would shrink the cost of the federal workforce through a five-year pay freeze and reduce the workforce by 15 percent through attrition. That would be reached by hiring one worker for every two who left government.

    Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) stood with his House colleagues in a news release issued by the committee, against what he called “the wave of wasteful Washington spending. The Spending Reduction Act begins the difficult task of shrinking the federal bureaucracy that threatens our future prosperity.”

    The federal bureaucracy and those who staff it always are an easy target. But the release fails to mention anything about the impact the proposed cuts would have on service. If cutting federal spending, the federal payroll and staffing levels are necessary, then those who push those policies also should be willing to say what services they are willing to cut to save money.

    While the committee’s news release and fact sheet ignored the impact of its proposal on customers, others did not.

    Bennie G. Thompson, the top Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, said many of the projects to enhance domestic security – along the border, at airports and in cyberspace – were paid for through the discretionary budget.

    Going back to 2006 levels would place homeland security “potentially at risk if this goes through,” Thompson said. An overview of the legislation issued by the committee makes no mention of excluding homeland security and veterans’ spending from the proposed discretionary limits.

    With defense programs excluded, the hit on the remaining parts of the budget would be huge.

    “If imposed across the board, such a cut would mean 42 percent less for health care for veterans; 42 percent less for K-12 education; 42 percent less for protecting the environment; 42 percent less for the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and border security; 42 percent less for the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 42 percent less for food safety and inspection; and so on,” according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, an organization that studies federal budget issues from a center-left perspective.

    But let’s say the center overstates the problem. According to the Senate’s Democratic leadership, even a 30 percent cut in non-security programs would have a serious impact:

    l About 8 million students would have their Pell grants cut.

    l Head Start would be forced to drop about 389,000 children and families.

    l K-through-12 classrooms across America would lose $11.25 billion

    l About 3,000 food-safety inspector positions would be eliminated

    l Approximately 4,000 positions for FBI agents, 800 ATF agents, 1,500 DEA agents, and 900 U.S. marshals would be lost, as would 5,700 correctional officers in federal prisons.

    l Guaranteed loans for small businesses would fall by about $4 billion in 2011.

    Asked about service cuts, a spokesman for the committee said the Office of Management Budget would have flexibility to reassign worker slots between agencies if necessary. “People in the private sector often have to tighten their belts, increase productivity and provide the same services at lower costs,” he said. “We reject the notion that the federal government cannot do the same.”

    Providing the same service at lower costs, however, is a notion that often ignores reality. Consider the difference in service between a Home Depot and a neighborhood hardware store. One way big-box stores keep costs low is by hiring comparatively fewer people. Along with lower costs come lower levels of service.

    Sam can learn from recent experience. Many agencies were understaffed when President Obama took office and their customers suffered steep backlogs in service.

    Going back to 2006 levels “would have significant impacts on staffing and slash productivity at a time when we are receiving record numbers of charges,” said Christine Saah Nazer, a spokeswoman for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

    “We would see our pending inventory grow significantly and a marked decrease in our ability to provide training and technical assistance to employers. This would ultimately result in lengthy delays, keeping those who file complaints of discrimination, as well as businesses, in a costly state of limbo.”

    The cost of government can be counted in different ways. Budget figures are one way, the cost to customers by cutting service is another. When politicians talk about the former, don’t let them get away with ignoring the latter.

    Washington Post, LINK to Article