Child Care Costs are Killing Us
The cost of putting two children in child care exceeded median annual rent payments in every state last year, according to the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies. These parents find ways to get by -- but it's a constant struggle.
Read 12 stories of American families struggling with increasingly unmanageable child care costs in America.
What Is at Stake for Children in the Debt Ceiling Debate
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Washington DC has been more active this month than in most summers. Both Houses of Congress have cancelled week long recesses to address the issue of federal debt ceiling limit. According to the Treasury Department, on August 2, 2011, the United States Federal Government will officially hit the nation’s debt ceiling. What will be the impact on kids if the Congress fails to act to raise the ceiling?
If we hit our debt ceiling, the government would owe more per month than it brings in. The Bipartisan Policy Center estimates that the government will owe approximately $306 billion for the month of August while only collecting $172 billion in revenue.
GAO: US tracking of child-abuse deaths is flawed
America uses flawed methods to tally and analyze the deaths of children who have been maltreated, and the latest annual estimate of 1,770 such fatalities is likely too low, the Government Accountability Office says in a new report to Congress.
Better data, says the GAO, would aid in developing strategies that could save many children's lives in the future.
The GAO report, the subject of a House Human Resources subcommittee hearing Tuesday, says state agencies and the Department of Health and Human Services should broaden the scope of data collection, improve coordination, and seek uniform definitions of abuse and maltreatment.
"We need to do a much better job working together at the local, state and national level," said Theresa Covington, director of the National Center for the Review and Prevention of Child Deaths, in testimony prepared for the hearing.
In his opening remarks, the chairman of the House subcommittee, Rep. Geoff Davis, R-Ky., evoked the death of 2-year-old Caylee Anthony, whose mother, Casey, was acquitted of murder last week in a trial that drew worldwide news coverage.Click here
to read the full article.
Poll: Lawmakers should do more for children's health, education and safety
CEDAR RAPIDS — Iowans likely to vote in 2012 presidential election say state and federal lawmakers should be doing more for children, including investing more tax money in the health, education and safety of children, according to a poll conducted for a child advocacy group.
However, the poll conducted for Every Child Matters also found that Republicans likely to participate in the precinct caucuses are less likely to support additional spending on those issues.
“This makes crystal clear that the most extreme conservative wing of the Republican Party has a sharply divergent view from the general electorate and the rest of the Republican Party,” Michael Petit of Every Child Matters said Thursday in Cedar Rapids.
The child advocacy group is meeting with sympathetic groups including educators, seniors and labor, and advertising in Iowa media to raise children’s issues, Petit said.
To read the full article, click here.
House Explores Plan for Reducing Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities in U.S
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Members of the Coalition to Prevent Child Abuse Deaths were instrumental in providing information to the GAO as it investigated child abuse and neglect deaths associated with the child welfare system; holding a briefing with Congressman Camp and collecting petitions calling for a hearing on child abuse and neglect deaths; and, finally, in testifying during said hearing. Coalition member and ECM President Michael Petit presented testimony at the hearing and later that day was interviewed by CNN. To watch the hearing on cspan, click here
. To see Mr. Petit’s interview with CNN, click here
House Explores Plan for Reducing Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities in U.S.
Following Congressional Hearing, Government Accountability Office (GAO) Recommends Strengthening Data on Child Fatalities to Improve Prevention and Reduce Deaths
WASHINGTON, DC (June 13, 2011) A congressional hearing held on July 12 about child deaths due to maltreatment called on national experts to explain why the number of child deaths has been undercounted. The hearing coincided with the release of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on child abuse and neglect deaths associated with the child welfare system.
Congressman Dave Camp (R-MI), Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means, called for the hearing when he was presented with a petition including more than 8,000 signatures during a congressional briefing on child abuse deaths hosted by the National Coalition to End Child Abuse Deaths
(NCECAD) in April.
Levin: Young Children Need Our Protection
Shea Levin is director for Every Child Matters-Long Island, a nonprofit organization dedicated to children's issues.
The death of Florida toddler Caylee Anthony and the murder trial of her mother galvanized the nation. Shock and anger filled the news after last week's verdict. Long Islanders could be heard discussing the outcome on beaches, in supermarkets and in communities from Manhasset to Montauk.
We may never know what happened to Caylee. Although there was no proof that the toddler was abused, the case has shone a much-needed light on the vulnerability of young children, many of whom are abused. While they don't make headlines, there are numerous cases of substantiated child abuse on Long Island every year.
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Iowa Poll Released
Today, the Every Child Matters Education Fund (ECMEF) released results of a poll taken of Iowans likely to vote in the presidential election of 2012. A national children’s advocacy organization with a field office in Iowa, ECMEF commissioned Mason-Dixon Polling and Research to gauge Iowans' opinions about issues facing children and families.
ECMEF President Michael Petit revealed the results in front of an audience of children’s organizations gathered at the Maddie Leavitt Center on the United Way Campus. He said, “This poll shows clearly that Iowa voters are concerned about the future of their children and want more not fewer federal investments in their children’s future.”
The poll surveyed 629 Iowans – a random sample of 400 likely general election voters statewide and an oversample of 229 likely Republican caucus goers. A poll summary, including methodological notes, is available here, and top line results are available here.
Among the key findings are:
• Voters hold negative views on the status and future of children and don’t believe leaders in Washington are doing enough to address their well-being. 50% of all voters believe the lives of children in America have gotten worse over the last decade; 54% think children will be worse off when they grow up than people are now. 58% think our political leaders in DC are not doing enough to ensure the health, education and well-being of children today, although 75% of GOP caucus goers do not believe that is the case.
• Voters want candidates for office to make greater investments in children, not cut them and voters of all persuasions find issues of child-well-being important to them when they vote. However, general election voters and swing voters (41%) are more likely than Republican caucus goers (25%) to say that children’s issues will be their primary issue.
• Voters overall, particularly general election swing voters, say they are more likely to support candidates for office who propose specific investments in children. Republican caucus goers are most supportive of candidates wanting to address child abuse prevention and more affordable college but are not supportive of candidates advocating for other programs.
Again, the poll summary, including methodological notes, is available here, and top line results are available here.
Child advocacy group says Iowa GOP caucus-goers more likely to back cuts in kids’ programs
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Republicans planning to attend the 2012 Iowa Caucuses are more likely to support cuts in children’s programs than general election swing voters, which should be a caution to GOP presidential candidates, according to a Washington-based advocacy group.
A statewide poll of 629 Iowans released Wednesday shows Republican candidates risk alienating swing voters in Iowa if they fail to support children’s programs, said Michael Petit, president of the Every Child Matters Education Fund.
“This poll shows clearly that Iowa voters are concerned about the future of their children and want more, not fewer, federal investments in their children,” Petit said.
Medicaid Cuts and State Economies – No One Wins
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Millions of children rely on Medicaid to keep them healthy and we are concerned that these plans by politicians in Washington DC will make it harder for them to receive the care they need.
Not only will children be harmed if these plans become law, parents will lose jobs and state economies, already fragile, could be decimated. In the newly-released report, “Jobs At Risk: Federal Medicaid Cuts Would Harm State Economies,” Families USA explains that the proposed Medicaid cuts in the Ryan budget, in addition to taking their toll on program enrollees, would seriously harm state economies.
“Every federal Medicaid dollar that flows into a state stimulates business activity and generates jobs. The loss of federal funding means there will be fewer dollars circulating through each state’s economy, as well as fewer dollars passing from one person to another in successive rounds of spending that drive economic growth. This loss of the ‘economic multiplier effect” that states would experience as a direct result of federal Medicaid cuts would be large and much greater than the amount of the dollar cuts themselves.”
Using the RIMS II input-output model (U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis) and working with the Merrick School of Business at the University of Baltimore, Families USA calculated how the proposed cuts of 5% by 2013, 15% in 2014, and approx. 33% at the end of 10 years would affect each state’s loss of business activities and jobs if they were enacted in 2011.
Kids Could Get the Short End of the Stick
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Balanced Budget Amendments Will Cause Great Harm to Children’s Programs
This week, the House of Representatives voted against increasing the debt ceiling. This summer, the United States Treasury will reach the limit of what the law allows them to borrow. If this occurs, the country will not be able to pay back the bonds that the investors have purchased. The United States has never defaulted on its bonds, and the impact on the financial markets and the broader economy will be catastrophic if it does. Congress will eventually vote to increase the debt ceiling. Whatever else they agree to in order to pass will be the main issue in Washington DC this summer. The vote this week would have increased the ceiling and done nothing else, what some people call a “clean bill.” Some in Congress are demanding deep spending cuts in exchange for their vote to raise the ceiling. Others see this as an opportunity to try again to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment.
The balanced budget amendment proposals in the Congress are far more radical than the proposals that came within one vote of passing the Congress in the 1990s. They include caps on federal spending that would force drastic cuts in programs vital to women and families, but do nothing to restrain tax breaks for corporations and wealthy individuals. Some proposals are so extreme they would require supermajorities in both the House and Senate to raise taxes in any way – making tax breaks for the rich and corporate special interests virtually untouchable. At the same time, spending on health, education, and child safety programs would be cut far below the level they were when Ronald Reagan was President.
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