We know how important Infants and Toddlers are to you. Take action and voice your support of programs that aim to improve outcomes for young children across the state. Below are First3Year’s Policy Recommendations for the 84th Legislative Session.
First3Years Supports the Following Policies/Proposals:
Senate Bill 426 – The Home Visiting Accountability and Expansion Act (TexProtects)
TexProtects and the Texas Home Visiting Consortium is requesting nearly $41 million additional dollars to fund evidence-based home visiting services that support healthy social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development of 0 to 3-year-olds and their families. Home visiting programs are known to help families improve their circumstances and allows parents to build secure, stable environments for their children.
Decreasing Child Care Ratios and Group Sizes (Texans Care for Children)
The child to caregiver ratios for 2 and 3-year-olds in Texas are much higher than AAP and NAEYC recommend, leaving those children at risk in their early learning environments. In addition to ensuring the safer learning environments, lower ratios is healthier for the social-emotional development of young children.
Decreasing Risk to Child Caused by Maternal Depression (Children at Risk, March of Dimes)
First3Years believes in providing support to mothers suffering from Maternal Depression by extending Medicaid coverage from 60 days after delivery to one year after delivery in order to significantly reduce risks to the safety and well-being of the infant and to improve the overall health of both the mother and her child.
Redirecting Subsidies to Ensure Quality 0-3 Programs
First3Years follows the lead of the Dallas Early Education Alliance in asking that Legislature redirect subsidy monies set aside for children attending public pre-k to eligible 0 to 3-year-old children in low income areas. By following the direction of the CCDBG reauthorization law and raising the reimbursement rate for infant and toddler care, such a policy would add consistency and stabilization among quality providers, provide vital support to parents with varying work situations, and enhance early learning and outcomes. Most importantly, the child-caregiver relationship would not be displaced.