State Action Calls

Begun as a response to the pandemic and its impact on so many aspects of early childhood, the Alliance for Early Success’ National Issues>State Action calls provide real-time information about national policy and state-level action. 

In these calls, the Alliance for Early Success connects state advocates with each other for information and strategy sharing. And we also connect them with leading national early childhood policy organizations — not only to benefit from their expertise, but to help state needs influence federal action.

 

Recent Calls:

The State of Prevention: Family First Prevention Services Act and Early Childhood Prevention Programs

7/30/2020 — This informative child welfare session explored the current state of implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act with respect to prevention programs that strengthen families with young children and examined disparities by race and ethnicity.

Our featured speakers were Allison Blake, CEO of Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut and former Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, and Jeremy Kohomban, Ph.D., President and CEO of the Children’s Village and President of Harlem Dowling.

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Risk Factor: Racism—The Structures that Drive Black Infant and Maternal Mortality

with Joia Crear-Perry, MD, FACOG, Founder and President of the National Birth Equity Collaborative

7/24/2020 — Dr. Crear-Perry spoke powerfully on the legacy of slavery and structural racism as key drivers of high rates of Black infant and maternal mortality. In a keynote presentation and then in a smaller discussion group with state early childhood advocates, she explored key actions state and national advocates can take to dismantle racist systems and structures that contribute to poor maternal health and birth outcomes.

Dr. Crear-Perry is a nationally recognized thought leader around racism as a root cause of health inequities and recently addressed the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to urge a human rights framework to improve maternal mortality.

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Moving Toward Action: Strategies for State Advocates to Operationalize Racial Equity Principles

Juneteenth, 2020 — On this National Issues>State Action call, we were fortunate to be joined by an incredible line-up of guests who joined Alliance staff in recognition and celebration of Juneteenth by sharing steps that organizations can take to center equity in their policy pursuits and examples of policy opportunities that address systemic racism.

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The COVID-19 Child Welfare Landscape and Child Care Policies for Families Involved in Your State’s Child Welfare System

6/05/2020 — This was an information-packed debut of our National Issues>State Action format. Our speakers included Hope Cooper from the True North Group, Cathy Palm from the Center for Children’s Justice in Pennsylvania, Deb Stein from Partnership for America’s Children, Christine Johnson Staub from the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and Kristen Lang, who founded and led the High Quality Early Education for Dependent Youth (HQEEDY) Collaborative in Florida.

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GEER and ESSER: Two Key Opportunities for State Advocates to Direct Emergency Funding to Early Childhood Programs

5/15/2020 — We were joined by great paenlists who got attendees up to speed on the Governor’s Emergency Education Fund Relief (GEER) and the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) and strategies for using these relief funds for early childhood programs and other supports for children and families. Presenters included Sara Mead, Bellwether Education Partners; Beth Caron, National Governor’s Association; Elizabeth Groginsky, New Mexico Secretary of Early Childhood Education; and Becca Steinhoff, Wyoming Kids First.

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Coordinating and Amplifying the State Advocacy Voice

5/8/2020 — For this topic, we replaced our traditional webinar with a working call on “What’s Next” for the early childhood landscape. After a federal overview and a look at some new common language around child care, the group divided into three brakouts to discuss “Opening Strong,” “Building It Stronger” and “Federal Advocacy.”

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The Pandemic's Disproportionate Impact on Immigrant Children and Families: What Philanthropists and Advocates Can Do

5/1/2020 — In this call, co-hosted by the Early Childhood Funders Collaborative, we had an in-depth discussion about the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on immigrant children and families. We had an overview of federal legislation to address the needs of immigrant families; key services and assistance that local and state organizations are providing to immigrant families; the critical role that philanthropy plays in supporting positive outcomes for immigrant families; and concrete actions that advocates can take to improve policies for immigrant children and families. Our great line-up of presenters included Wendy Cervantes, Director of Immigration and Immigrant Families, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP); Denise Dell Isola and Ausannette Garcia-Goyette, Irving Harris Foundation; Rebecca Vonderlack Navarro, PhD, and Jose Marco, Latino Policy Forum, and Yael Ross, Director, Center for New American Children, Children at Risk (Texas).

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Maximizing Medicaid and CHIP During the COVID-19 Pandemic: What Every State Advocate Should Know

4/24/2020On this call, we looked at the enhanced flexibility and options in Medicaid and CHIP as a result of the federal emergency declarations and pandemic relief legislation and how states advocates can maximize health and early childhood services. Our guests were Elisabeth Wright Burak, Senior Fellow, Georgetown University Center for Children and Families; Adriana Kohler, Policy Director, Texans Care for Children; Amy Zaagman, Executive Director, Michigan Council for Maternal and Child Health; and Leanne Barrett, Senior Policy Analyst, Rhode Island KIDS COUNT. We also got an update on the latest federal movement.

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State Budgets: Pandemic Pressures and What Lies Ahead

4/17/2020On this call we looked more closely at the mounting pressures state finances face from the pandemic and economic fallout — and how the $130 billion dollars in direct aid to states and tribes in the CARES Act can be leveraged. We had two experts from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities on the call, who will also highlight the implications of the pandemic for communities of color and steps that can be taken with relief provided in federal packages to address inequities. We’ll also hear from state advocates about their work to advocate and shape discussions on the ground.

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The CARES Act and Small Business Aid

4/10/2020This call covered the implications of the legislation’s small businness aid for child care and other non-profit providers of services for children and families, and issues that have recently come to light regarding the implementation of the loan provisions. We heard from Cynthia Ward Wikstrom of Main Street Alliance and Linda Smith of the Bipartisan Policy Center. We also covered state resources with Lynette Fraga of Child Care Aware of America, and heard from state advocates in Illinois and Louisiana. We wrapped with some counsel on the importance of states reaching out to their congressional delegations to inform policies for future Covid-19 legislative proposals. 

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COVID-19, Unemployment Insurance, and Child Care

4/3/2020In this call, we were fortunate to be joined by three great panelists – Maurice Ensellem with the National Employment Law Project (NELP), Patti Prunhuber with the Child Care Law Center and Grace Reef with the Committee for Economic Development – who talked about Unemployment Insurance and the new types of relief offered through the CARES Act, in addition to hearing about work being done to build a Hill-facing campaign that brings us from CARES to future congressional actions.  

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COVID-19 State and Federal Response and the CARES Act

2/27/2020This first call in the series was convened as an emergency response to the growing need to share fast-changing information about pending legislation. We were joined by several national and state experts, including: Danielle Ewen, EducationCounsel; Sarah Rittling, First Five Years Fund; Tanya Goldman, CLASP; Elisabeth Burak, Georgetown Center for Children and Families; Catriona Macdonald, Association of Tribal and State Home Visiting Initiatives (ASTHVI); John Sciamanna, Child Welfare League of America; Bill Jaeger, Colorado Children’s Campaign; Leanne Barrett, Rhode Island Kids Count; Elisabeth Fraser, Connecticut Association for Human Services; and Merrill Gay, Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance.

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Want to join us for these informative presentations and conversations?