By age 2, a baby’s brain has reached 80% of its adult size. The quality of experiences during the first 1,000 days of life establishes either a strong or fragile foundation for everything that follows.
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FIRST 1000 DAYS FLORIDA NEWSLETTER!
With the opening of the 2018 Florida Legislative Session and the 2018 First 1000 Days Florida Summit in September, this newsletter will keep you informed about opportunities to advocate and support state and national efforts aimed at ensuring children 0-3 get the best possible start in life. Please help us grow our network by sharing this newsletter widely.
With the opening of the 2018 Florida Legislative Session on January 9 and the 2018 First 1000 Days Florida Summit in September, this newsletter will keep you informed about opportunities to advocate and support state efforts aimed at ensuring children 0-3 get the best possible start in life. Please help us grow our network by sharing this newsletter widely.
First 1000 Days Florida Coalition Sets 2018 Legislative Priorities
The First 1000 Days Florida Coalition will focus on the following policy and funding priorities during the 2018 state Legislative Session:
Financial Stability – The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is available to low-income working families, and is recognized as one of the best anti-poverty tools in the U.S. We are asking the Legislature to invest $1.2 million in state funding to expand the capacity of free tax preparation and financial education programs statewide — helping up to 31,000 working families save $3.3 million in tax preparation fees, and claim over $40 million in tax refunds, reducing the 1.1 billion in tax credits being left in Washington every year.
Quality early learning programs improve language skills and help reduce the achievement gap to increase kindergarten readiness and early grade success. We are asking the Legislature to strengthen the School Readiness program with the implementation of quality standards and aligned accountability that includes: 1) a clear definition of quality based on core standards and practices that must be in place to provide assurances of strong teaching practices that best support children’s development; and 2) program outcomes to validate that School Readiness is valuable as an effective early education program.
Maternal Depression & Infant Mental Health
Depression, particularly in mothers, has a direct and measurable impact on the health and well-being of women and their families. If untreated, the depression contributes to long-term health, education, and societal costs. We advocate for universal screening and support for state mental health programs to address parental depression among vulnerable families; leveraging of federal and state funding to develop a comprehensive strategy for parental and early childhood depression; and investing in education and training to ensure a qualified infant mental health work force is available to meet the state’s needs.
Improving Outcomes for Maltreated Children
While the first 1,000 days of life offer the most opportunity for development, it is also the most vulnerable time for maltreatment. We support funding to invest in Florida’s Early Childhood Court (ECC) program to order to assess potential benefits and the need for further expansion. ECCs provide monthly hearings in front of a judge; team meetings facilitated by a community coordinator to fast track integrated services; and intensive child/parent therapy to heal trauma and break the multigenerational cycle of abuse. Florida is serving 334 children across the 19 ECC sites throughout the state.
2018 First 1000 Days Florida Summit September 26-28 in Palm Beach
Mark your calendar and plan to be a part of Florida’s premiere multi-disciplinary, cross-sector summit focusing on child health and well-being, prevention of abuse and neglect, trauma-informed care, early child development and school readiness during the critical first 1000 days of life.
The 2018 First 1000 Days Florida Summit will be held September 26-28 at the Palm Beach Convention Center.
The 2018 summit includes six plenary sessions featuring national experts and thought-leaders, and over 40 educational and skill-building workshops for professionals and programs serving families with children age 0-3.
Conference registration will open in February, 2018. Marquee sponsors for the 2018 event are the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County and the Florida Maternal, Infant & Early Childhood Home Visiting Initiative.
The 2018 summit will also include a Poster Showcase highlighting innovative front-line programs and practices from the field. Watch for the Call for Abstracts in February.
Learn more about sponsorship and vendor opportunities here
Federal Advocacy Priorities
Two federal programs – the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and the Maternal, Infant & Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) initiative – provide critical resources for Florida’s children and their families during the First 1000 Days. Authorization for both of these programs ended September 30, 2017. Both initiatives are continuing with short-term funding and residual grant support. The First 1000 Days Florida Coalition joins the National Governor’s Association, and other state and national advocacy groups in urging Congress to take immediate action to reauthorize these programs.
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Our mailing address is:
First 1000 Days Florida
1311 N. Paul Russell Rd #A204
Tallahassee, FL 32301