Posts Tagged ‘ head start ’

Parents Daily News Roundup

Friday, April 5th, 2013

District Parents Say Mayor Should See First-Hand School Routes Their Kids Will Tread
Fearing the dangers posed by the new routes their kids will be forced to take after the district shutters 54 neighborhood elementary schools, Chicago Public School parents are calling on Mayor Rahm Emanuel to come to their communities and “walk the walk.” (via Huffington Post)

Head Start Families Left With No Good Options Due To Sequestration
The ripple effects of sequestration are taking hold. And among the first and most affected are hundreds of lower-income parents forced to game out major life adjustments to accommodate cuts to Head Start. (via Huffington Post)

Wisconsin Dad’s Anti-Bullying Facebook Plea Goes Viral After Son Allegedly Tormented At School
His son said he was being bullied at middle school, so Matthew Bent fought back on Facebook. Now, the Kaukauna, Wisc., dad’s plea to end school bullying everywhere has attracted hundreds of thousands of readers with over 900,000 likes and shares. (via Huffington Post)

Family uses medical marijuana to treat severely autistic son
Medical marijuana is a controversial treatment option for adults – let alone children. But Jeremy Echols, of Oregon, says that that the drug is helping his autistic – and severely self-destructive – 11-year-old son, Alex. (via Fox News)

Missouri Lawmaker Wants To Tie Welfare Benefits To Public School Attendance
A Republican lawmaker in Missouri wants to tie welfare benefits to school attendance with a bill that would require 90 percent attendance for children of families receiving benefits. (via Huffington Post)

Judge strikes restrictions on “morning-after” pill
A federal judge on Friday ordered the Food and Drug Administration to make the “morning-after” emergency contraception pill available without a prescription to all girls of reproductive age. (via Reuters)

Lead poisoning toll revised to 1 in 38 young kids
More than half a million U.S. children are now believed to have lead poisoning, roughly twice the previous high estimate, health officials reported Thursday. (via Yahoo! News)

Michelle Obama Slips, Says She’s ‘Single Mother’
First lady Michelle Obama slipped up in a local TV interview Thursday and accidentally called herself a “single mother.” (via ABC News)

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How Did the Fiscal Cliff Deal Turn Out For Children?

Friday, January 4th, 2013

Is there a phrase you’d like to banish more than “fiscal cliff”? But before we put it out of our minds–temporarily, anyway–let’s hear a smart analysis of what the agreement hammered out on New Year’s Eve really means for families. This follow-up post comes from Ann O’Leary,the director of the Children and Families Program at The Center for the Next Generation. The Center has recently launched a campaign called Too Small to Fail, a national movement to raise awareness about the state of America’s children and how the country can come together to create a stronger future for the next generation; we at Parents are one of its partners.

In an 11th hour set of furious negotiations, Congress and President Obama reached an agreement on the so-called “fiscal cliff,” a self-imposed set of deadlines that would have resulted in automatic tax increases and across-the-board spending cuts in the absence of a deal.

In many respects, the deal is good news for America’s children and families.


  • It raises taxes on the wealthiest Americans (those families making over $450,000 per year, or individuals making over $400,000 per year) and uses the increased revenue to provide many supports for middle- and low-income working families.
  • It preserves the middle-class income tax cuts put into place in 2001 under President George W. Bush.
  • It also ensures a lower tax bill for more working parents by extending the expansion of two critical tax breaks for taxpayers with children—the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit—particularly to reach larger and lower-income families.
  • In addition, it lowers the tax bill for low- and moderate-income families who are helping pay for their children’s college tuition by extending the American Opportunity Tax Credit.
  • Finally, the deal extends unemployment insurance benefits to the long-term unemployed, many of whom are parents desperately searching for a job in a still-weak economy.

But as I explained just before the holidays, the fiscal cliff is only the latest hurdle faced by our government in trying to resolve much longer-term debates about how much debt the United States should carry, which revenue and spending policies will best help the economy grow, and whether the United States can sustain the commitments it has made to America’s seniors through Social Security and Medicare.

None of these bigger and more difficult questions have been resolved as part of this deal. In fact, Congress and the President agreed to delay the automatic budget cuts to major federal spending programs for only two months and to delay the question of whether Congress will again raise the country’s debt limit. This means that the President and the Congress, divided by deep ideological differences about how best to spend taxpayer dollars, have again agreed to automatic spending cuts that will take effect in early March, including cuts to some of our most impactful programs for children—Title I funds that aid schools with the most low-income students, federal funding that goes to states to help schools pay for the costs of aiding children with special needs and disabilities, and funding for Head Start to provide critical early education opportunities to our neediest children.

It also means that, at some point soon, Congress and the President will reopen the debate about reforming Social Security and Medicare, our largest entitlement programs. Along with debating those entitlement programs, they are likely to put back on the table possible cuts to Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—programs that provide essential health and food security for millions of America’s children.

So, we may have temporarily rescued our kids from the edge of the cliff. But the political winds continue to push them toward the precipice.


Photo: Fiscal cliff phrase in the sand being washed away via Shutterstock.

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RIE Method Advocates “Do Less, Observe More” Parenting

Monday, November 1st, 2010

ss_ISP2093704Want to raise a peaceful, confident baby? Forget the dangling mobiles, Baby Einstein—even playpens. RIE(short for Resources for Infant Educarers) devotees, including celeb followers such as Tobey Maguire, Helen Hunt, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jason Alexander and Felicity Huffman, would argue their paired-down, empathy-for-baby based method is the way to go, The Daily Beast reports.

Co-founded in 1978 by Magda Gerber and Tom Forrest, a pediatric neurologist, RIE (pronounced like “rye”) is a parenting philosophy that emphasizes treating infants with respect in order to help them grow into well-adjusted, independent individuals. Followers seek to take their parenting cues directly from their babies,  connecting to the actions and feelings a child exhibits in hopes to gain an understanding of what their little one is experiencing. Simple kitchen utensils and household items, for example, are opted for instead of battery-operated devices that are thought to distract rather than engage.

Similarly, a crying baby isn’t immediately soothed but is encouraged to ’let it out’, and asked why he or she is crying. “One of the most common misconceptions is that we just let the babies cry and we don’t pick them up,” longtime instructor Hari Grebler, who teaches in Santa Monica and makes RIE-approved toys and baby furniture, was quoted as saying. “What RIE talks about is, how do we pick them up? Do we just snatch them up from the floor? Or do we go over and talk and try to find out what’s up and tell them, ‘Now I’m going to pick you up.’”

Those dedicated to bringing up their babies under the guidelines of REI often attend REI training courses and meet-up groups. Emma Gray, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based fine art consultant and mother of two, appreciated the way these classes made her more focused and connected as a parent. ”It had a very profound effect …There’s this idea that the children have got to dance, have got to swim. What they need is nature. Basic stimulation from other children. Being outside. Natural stuff.”

This month, the method goes mainstream as RIE teaching materials arrive at 1,700 federally funded Early Head Start programs for families with infants and toddlers nationally.

Would you want your child to participate in these programs? Do you think RIE is a bit too ‘granola’ in its approach or do you see the method as a refreshing departure for our generation of ‘high-achieving super-babies’?

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