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One of our country’s most cherished values is the idea that if you work hard you can get ahead, be part of the middle class, raise a family comfortably, and ensure your children will do better than you did. But this is a hollow promise to countless families today. The sad truth is you can work full time in America and not be able to meet your family’s basic needs.
The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) is the primary source of federal funding for child care, but CCDBG has not been reauthorized since 1996. The Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2013 (S.1086) would reauthorize CCDBG and takes important steps to improve the quality of care for children, particularly the poorest and most vulnerable; establishes minimum health and safety standards in child care; and provides additional supports to assist working parents in finding high-quality care.
Seventeen-year-old Theresa Tran is one of this year’s winners of the Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio’s Beat the Odds® scholarships after overcoming tough odds including physical disability, the death of a beloved sibling, and a father who suddenly abandoned the family and left her mother to raise four children alone.
During this Black History Month I was deeply honored to be inducted into the South Carolina Hall of Fame at the same time as Mrs. Septima Clark—the woman Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called the “Mother of the Movement.”
The headlines in the case were sadly familiar. An angry adult armed with a gun used it to shoot and kill an unarmed Black teenager he thought seemed “bad”—this time, because the teenager and his friends were sitting in a car listening to music the grownup didn’t like. In this outrageous Florida case a middle-aged White man, Michael Dunn, was convicted of three counts of attempted murder and one count of shooting a gun into an occupied car.
Some children cheer when schools close for winter storms, but there are hungry children in America right now for whom another snow day this week meant another day without access to school breakfast or lunch. Despite criticism some big city mayors have kept schools open on snowy days this winter so their children would not go without food. These same children suffer over the weekends. While some schools have food pantries and send children home on the weekends with backpacks filled with food, it is still far, far from enough and only a drop in the bucket of need. Schools report students who arrive hungry on Monday morning or cry when they miss the bus or it’s late because that means they’ve missed breakfast.
We’re used to making a big fuss over children’s birthdays, but this week child advocates and families across the country are celebrating CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, on the fifth anniversary of its reauthorization.
The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides child-appropriate health services to more than 8 million children in working families across America. Since its enactment in 1997, CHIP has helped to cut the number of uninsured children in half to the lowest level on record, while improving health outcomes and access to care. Created specifically for children, CHIP’s benefits and provider networks are designed to ensure children have access to child-appropriate services, providers, specialists, and facilities. Cost-sharing for CHIP (when states choose to apply it) is affordable for families so they can access the services their children need.
Carter G. Woodson, son of former slaves, pioneering Harvard-trained historian, founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, and inspirer of Black History Month, sought to teach future generations of Black children about the great thinkers and role models who came before us. He was very clear that celebrating our rich Black history of struggle and courage was not the same as getting stuck in the past, but if we are going to understand the present and protect the future we must understand where we came from and what it took to get us here.
Fifty years after President Lyndon Johnson declared a War on Poverty, the United States is still not a fair playing field for millions of children afflicted by preventable poverty, hunger, homelessness, sickness, poor education and violence in the world’s richest economy with a gross domestic product (GDP) of $15.7 trillion.