First3Years Policy Update: March 2017

First3Years Policy Update: March 2017

During the 85th Texas Legislative session, we need your help to continue to be a strong voice for Texas’ infants, toddlers and their families.

First3Years’ top policy priorities are ECI Funding, HB4 to sustain funding for high quality Pre-K programs, Texas Home Visiting to scale up funding to reach 7% of the highest-needs families in Texas, and Post-Partum Depression funding for new programs and screening.

Below are the latest updates and actions you can take! We need your voice, as everyone has a role!

House Bill 4:

First3Years stands alongside Early Matters in asking that the state sustain HB4 grant funding at $236 million for the current biennium for high quality Pre-K programs and asking for increased data reporting and transparency of government funded child care to ensure dollars are going towards quality programs. Funding for high quality Pre-K remains at risk!

Take Action Today: Please call and write your elected officials. Acknowledge legislator’s past support for Pre-K and ask that they support quality funding. The funding needs to be tied to quality. HB4 was equitable, and anyone who applied was able to get funding.

Texas Home Visiting:

Home Visiting is an important resource for preventing child abuse and helping children become Kindergarten Ready.  First3Years stands beside TexProtects and the Texas Home Visiting Coalition in requesting the state to scale-up funding to reach 7% of the highest needs families in Texas. For more information about the benefits of home visiting, you can read more at http://texprotects.org/TXhomevisiting/

Take Action Today: Write your elected officials using this template.

Post-Partum Depression:

First3Years joined Texans Care for Children, Mental Health America-Greater Houston, Young Invincibles, Children at Risk, Texas Pediatric Society on a sign-on letter to House and Senate leadership, House Appropriations, and Senate Finance highlighting postpartum depression and urging the state to include a rider in the state budget directing the state to apply for a new federal grant opportunity under 21st Century Cures Act. This federal law authorizes $5 million in grants to states to expand or develop new programs for screening and treatment of postpartum depression. In a tough budget cycle, state leaders are looking for ways to leverage non-state (non-GR) funds to improve maternal and child health.

Take Action Today: Write your elected officials using this template.