Children's Monitor Online
A Public Policy Update from the Child Welfare League of America

   
   
Vol. 23, Issue 4: 2/1/2010   
Headlines

CWLA Goes to Capitol Hill Calling for Action on Health Care

President Calls for Significant Increase in Child Care

CWLA Honors Senator Kennedy with Lifetime Legacy Award

CWLA's 2010 State Fact Sheets Posted

Key Upcoming Dates for Congress



CWLA Goes to Capitol Hill Calling for Action on Health Care

On Tuesday, January 26, CWLA national conference attendees made their way to Capitol Hill to deliver their central message to pass health care reform and to complete the job. While there are specific provisions in the health care bills that CWLA has been working on, such as the advancement of home visiting legislation and access to rehabilitative services for foster children, the overall importance of health care reform is very significant to the families and children CWLA agencies serve. In both bills there is an across-the-board extension of Medicaid which would result in stronger health care for families leaving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and youth leaving foster care. There are other beneficial provisions in the bills to promote health prevention services, better health planning, and more comprehensive health care services for all children. The other issue CWLA members promoted on the visits was the call to reestablish a White House Conference on Children and Youth. Download a copy of CWLA's legislative priorities.

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President Calls for Significant Increase in Child Care

When the President releases his FY 2011 budget tomorrow, it will include the first significant increase in child care funding since FY 2001. In that year, the last of the Clinton Administration, there was an increase of approximately $900 million. The President is expected to seek an increase of $1.6 billion in the child care block grant which is expected to result in increased child care for more than 230,000 children. In addition the President is also seeking to nearly double the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit for middle class families making under $85,000 a year. This is accomplished by increasing their tax credit rate from 20% to 35% of qualifying expenses. The value of the tax credit nearly doubles for all families making under $85,000 a year, and every family that makes under $115,000 will see their tax credit increase.

The $1.6 billion increase in child care funding is the largest one-year increase in 20 years, when the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) was created. After the FY 2001 increase, the Bush Administration sought and received a $100 million increase in its first year in FY 2002 to $2.1 billion. The 2005 TANF reauthorization provided a $200 million increase in matching funds, which have now been at the same level of $2.9 billion since 2006. Last year's stimulus legislation (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) did provide a boost of $2 billion in child care funds with many states spreading that funding out over two years.


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CWLA Honors Senator Kennedy with Lifetime Legacy Award

On Tuesday, January 26, CWLA presented the Lifetime Legacy Award in memory of Senator Edward M. Kennedy. It is an award that has been presented on rare occasions and this year it was presented as a strong statement by CWLA in recognition of what Senator Kennedy had accomplished over a lifetime. CWLA Board Chair, Julie Springwater, who is from Massachusetts, talked about what the Senator had meant to her and listed many of the areas of policy and legislation he had written, sponsored or guided to passage in his chairmanship including legislation in civil rights, fair housing, hate crimes, immigration reform, refugee assistance, higher education, education, Head Start, Early Head Start, job training, pension reform, family and medical leave, the ADA, foreign affairs, and of course health care. Ed Kelley, from the Robert F. Kennedy Children's Action Corps, accepted on behalf of the family and recalled some of the lighter moments in the Senator's career.

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CWLA's 2010 State Fact Sheets Posted

As part of the preparation for CWLA's 2010 National Conference, state fact sheets have been updated. The fact sheets list vital information on a state-by-state basis and include statistics including the number of children in foster care, the number of children living in poverty, the adoption rates, and other relevant topics.

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Key Upcoming Dates for Congress

February 2: Release of Administration's FY 2011 budget
February 13: Presidents' Day break
March 28-April 11: Spring break for Congress
April 15: Deadline to adopt budget resolution


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