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April 12, 2013
President Obama's Early Learning Proposal
The President is proposing a groundbreaking plan to support high-quality early learning opportunities for children birth to age five. The President's budget calls for significant new investments to epand access to and improve the quality of child care and early education programs that help children enter school ready to succeed and help parents work. The plan involves a multi-pronged approach that includes a new initiative to make high-quality preschool available to all four-year-olds in low- and moderate-income families; new partnerships between Early Head Start and child care providers to provide high-quality, full-day/full-year early learning opportunities for infants and toddlers; voluntary home visiting to support vulnerable families; and increased funding for child care and other existing programs related to early care and education. Download the full fact sheet from our partners at the National Women's Law Center.
JANUARY 29, 2013
Medicaid expansion is good for Iowa families
Here is the statement ECC released this morning regarding Medicaid expansion in Iowa:
Every Child Counts, the advocacy initiative of the Child and Family Policy Center, this morning joined 47 other Iowa organizations to ask state leaders to expand Medicaid health coverage for hardworking Iowans who make up to 133 percent of federal poverty level.
ECC supports Medicaid expansion because it is an effect way to ensure the well-being of Iowa parents and children.
“Although the Medicaid expansion available through the Affordable Care Act is directed at adults, it will also help many Iowa children,” said Danielle Oswald-Thole, ECC policy advocate. “Parents who work at low wages often cannot pay for health insurance and meet the needs of their children. These parents go uninsured, taking the risk that they won’t get sick or injured. If they do, and incur significant medical expenses, those expenses—on top of the injury or illness itself—have adverse impacts on themselves and their children.”
Here’s an example of the type of parent who would be covered under Medicaid expansion: a single mother with two children working full-time as a direct-care worker (often in a hospital or nursing home) and making $18,200 per year. (The federal poverty rate for a family of three is $19,090.)
In this example, the parent's Medicaid coverage would “wrap-around” any coverage she was able to secure through her employer, assuring that she could visit a health provider when sick or injured. Surveys of direct-care workers show that, among those who are single parents, one-third are are currently uninsured, simply because they do not have any realistic way to afford coverage. Fortunately, through Medicaid and hawk-I, their children are likely covered, but it makes sense—for the family and society—that parents are covered as well.
JANUARY 10, 2013
ECC readies for 2013 legislative session
The start of the 2013 legislative session is right around the corner! Policy priorities for Every Child Counts during the 2013 session focus on three broad areas: quality early learning and development, child health and well-being and child and family economic success. Specific areas of interest range from assuring the participation of low-income children in evidence-based preschool programs to expanding the state earned income tax credit.
View ECC legislative priorities.
OCTOBER 1, 2012
Boswell, Latham answer seven questions on child policy
The Children's Policy Coalition today released a voter's guide on the 3rd Congressional District race between incumbent members of Congress Leonard Boswell and Tom Latham. Both Boswell, the Democratic candidate, and Latham, the Republican, answered seven questions on important issues facing Iowa children and their families.
"We are so pleased both 3rd District candidates saw the importance of addressing children's policy," said ECC director Sheila Hansen. "Polls show that voters really do want candidates to say how they will assure a bright future for the next generation. We hope all candidates will follow their example and make children a priority in their campaigns."
Every Child Count staffs the 32-member Children's Policy Coalition, which aims to raise child and family policy issues to the prominence they deserve during the 2012 election season.
Read the guide.
SEPTEMBER 25, 2012
What do the major parties have to say about children?
Check out new side-by-side comparisons of child-policy statements and planks from the national and Iowa Republican and Democratic party platforms. The two documents -- one summarizing the Iowa party platforms and one the national party platforms -- take statements from the party documents directly without editing. They have been organized by category for ease of review.
These materials are provided as a public service by the Children’s Policy Coalition. The coalition of over 30 Iowa organizations, staffed by ECC, aims to raise child and family policy issues to the prominence they deserve.
Read the Iowa summary.
Read the national summary.
What do the presidential campaign websites have to say about child policy? Read the summary.
AUGUST 27, 2012
Iowa coalition aims to engage candidates on children's issues
Every Child Counts is one of over 30 Iowa organizations participating in the Children's Policy Coalition, a group committed to raising children's issues to prominence during this fall's election season.
“Children are 24 percent of the population and 100 percent of the future,” said Sheila Hansen, director of ECC, which is also staffing the coalition. “The public cares deeply about the future of the next generation and believes lawmakers have important roles in ensuring children’s health, safety, education, security and opportunity for success.
“Unfortunately, how government should respond to child needs is not regarded as a top-tier issue. The role of the Children’s Policy Coalition is to elevate critical child issues to the prominence they deserve,” Hansen said.
Along with similar efforts in 21 other states, the Children’s Policy Coalition aims to elevate those issues in Iowa by disseminating a child policy guide, Securing America’s Future: Children and the 2012 Election, that outlines the federal policies affecting children and raises seven questions pertaining to children that Congressional candidates need to address.
The coalition is also reaching out to all Iowa Congressional candidates and asking them to spell out their views on these seven child-policy issues both in response to a survey and on their websites, and sponsoring forums that give candidates the opportunity to present their views and asking them to support including child-policy issues as a specific topic in debates.
View the guide.
View the brochure, "Seven questions voters should ask--and candidates should answer--about America's future."
AUGUST 8, 2012
Get ready to 'Step Up for Kids' in September
The annual Step Up for Kids week is right around the corner. From September 17 through 21, representatives from Every Child Counts and Every Child Matters will lead interactive sessions across the state on the role of advocacy in elections and the legislative process, how to reach out to legislators and how to become a more complete and effective advocate on behalf of children.
View the following flyers for details on each session:
Monday, September 17, Clinton
Tuesday, September 18, Iowa City
Wednesday, September 19, Marshalltown
Thursday, September 20, Des Moines
Friday, September 21, Storm Lake
All events are from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and include lunch. There is no charge to attend. You can register by emailing email@example.com or by visiting the Iowa Child Care Provider Training Registry website.
FEBRUARY 2, 2012
First priority in tax reform: Raise Iowa's earned income tax credit
The Iowa Human Needs Advocates, a coalition of professional, service, church, labor, and advocacy organizations, including Every Child Counts, today called on Iowa lawmakers to raise the state earned income tax credit (EITC) from 7 percent of the federal EITC to 20 percent. Such an increase would help low-income workers across Iowa, who often struggle to meet their families’ basic needs.
The EITC is recognized across the political spectrum as an effective strategy for keeping thousands of working Iowans from falling into poverty. The credit, based on a filer’s “earned income,” encourages work, places value on raising children and puts money into the local economy.
Read the IHNA position paper.