Child Watch® Early Childhood Development and Learning

  • 06/05/15
    Child Watch® Column:
    End All Youth Detention and Torture at Riker's Island Now
    In his speech the night before his murder Dr King repeated the Biblical parable of the Good Samaritan who stopped and helped the desperate traveler who had been beaten, robbed, and left half dead as he journeyed along the road from Jerusalem to Jericho.
  • 06/05/15
    Child Watch® Column:
    Charity Is Not a Substitute for Justice
    In his speech the night before his murder Dr King repeated the Biblical parable of the Good Samaritan who stopped and helped the desperate traveler who had been beaten, robbed, and left half dead as he journeyed along the road from Jerusalem to Jericho.
  • 05/29/15
    Child Watch® Column:
    Protecting Fifty Years of Child Health Progress
    The 2016 Budget Resolution passed by both the House and the Senate paves the way to radically restructure Medicaid, making deep cuts that will reverse the progress made in reducing the rate of uninsured children, pushing tens of millions of Americans – including millions of children – into the ranks of the uninsured and underinsured.
  • 05/22/15
    Child Watch® Column:
    Overmedicating Children in Foster Care
    On any given day nearly one in four children in foster care is taking at least one psychotropic medication—more than four times the rate for all children. Nearly half of children living in residential treatment centers or group homes take psychotropic medications. Children in foster care are more likely to be prescribed multiple psychotropic medications at very high doses, although research shows higher doses can result in serious side effects.
  • 05/15/15
    Child Watch® Column:
    Healing a Child's Broken Heart
    It’s always very challenging for a parent when their child has a serious health condition. It’s even more challenging when their child has a serious condition but has no health insurance to cover the needed care and emergencies. Both were true for one Texas mother whose 12-year-old daughter Evelyn was diagnosed with a heart defect.
  • 05/08/15
    Child Watch® Column:
    Criminalizing Poverty
    The recent Department of Justice report on police and court practices in Ferguson, Missouri put a much needed spotlight on how a predatory system of enforcement of minor misdemeanors and compounding fines can trap low-income people in a never-ending cycle of debt, poverty, and jail. In Ferguson this included outrageous fines for minor infractions like failing to show proof of insurance and letting grass and weeds in a yard get too high. In one case a woman who parked her car illegally in 2007 and couldn’t pay the initial $151 fee has since been arrested twice, spent six days in jail, paid $550 to a city court, and as of 2014 still owed the city $541 in fines, all as a result of the unpaid parking ticket. The Department of Justice found each year Ferguson set targets for the police and courts to generate more and more money from municipal fines. And Ferguson isn’t alone. The criminalization of poverty is a growing trend in states and localities across the country.
  • 05/01/15
    Child Watch® Column:
    All in the Family
    The odds were stacked against Britiny Lee before she was born. Her mother was addicted to drugs, like Britiny’s grandfather and many others in their poverty-stricken Cleveland neighborhood. Britiny’s mother used drugs throughout her pregnancy and went to prison for a year just after Britiny’s birth. As a poor, Black “crack baby” with an addicted, incarcerated mother and an absent father, Britiny started life in danger. Being born into an unstable poor family or to a single, teen, incarcerated, or absent parent are all known risk factors in America’s Cradle to Prison Pipeline® crisis.
  • 04/24/15
    Child Watch® Column:
    Stuck Outside the Poor Door
    More than 88,000 people have applied to enter the “poor door” at a new luxury condominium tower on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Only one in 1,600 will win the lottery to live there. Some months ago a New York developer made headlines with the plans for this building, which takes advantage of zoning rules encouraging affordable housing by including some low-priced rental units along with the luxury condos for sale. A separate entrance for the people living in the low-income apartments continues with segregated living inside. Low-income tenants won’t be allowed to use the pool, gym, private theater, or any of the other amenities reserved for the wealthy owners. Critics immediately pounced on this design as a modern-day form of Jim Crow.
  • 04/17/15
    Child Watch® Column:
    "Thank God for Peanut Butter and Jelly—PB and J—Day"
    Kaylyn Sigman is a high school senior with big plans. A star soccer player from a poor rural Appalachian Ohio community who loves calculus and creative writing, she’s college bound this fall and dreams of becoming a middle school special education teacher. Kaylyn’s overcome a lot to arrive where she is today.
  • 04/10/15
    Child Watch® Column:
    "Big Winners and Big Losers in the House and Senate Republican Budgets"
    The House and Senate Republican budgets add $38 billion more in defense spending above the Pentagon’s request in fiscal year 2016. Instead of being up front and including it in the regular defense department budget, it was added to a catch-all war fund not subject to budget caps.
  • 02/20/15
    Child Watch® Column: "No ESEA Bill Is Better Than One That Fails to Protect the Poorest Children"
    For fifty years Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) has been the primary source of federal funding targeted to schools to serve poor children. Its purpose has been to raise achievement for poor children through extra support to their schools to help meet their greater educational needs. Sadly, from the beginning states didn’t keep their end of the bargain
  • 05/09/14
    Child Watch® Column: “The Opportunity Gap”
    In the spring of 1954, like so many Black families, mine waited anxiously for the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision. My father and I talked about it and what it would mean for my future and the future of millions of other Black children who were attending segregated but unequal Black schools.
  • 05/02/14
    Child Watch® Column: “The Budget Is Not Fair, Mr. Chair”
    On Wednesday, April 30, 2014, Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children’s Defense Fund, testified before the House Budget Committee on the impact of the War on Poverty on children and how our nation can finish the job started by President Johnson and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 50 years ago.
  • 04/25/14
    Child Watch® Column: “The Seed Experiment”
    A perennial favorite science project from preschool on up is the “seed experiment”: A child plants identical seeds in two pots. She places the first pot inside a dark cupboard and leaves it there, and she puts the second one in a sunny spot and waters it every day. She waits to see what will happen. It’s very easy for even the youngest children to figure out that their seedlings need the basics—sunlight and water—if they are going to survive and thrive. The same is true for children.
  • 04/18/14
    Child Watch® Column: “Making Strides for Preschool”
    We know high-quality early childhood development and learning interventions can buffer the negative effects of poverty and provide a foundation for future success with lifelong benefits, particularly for the poorest and most vulnerable children. Studies have shown children enrolled in high-quality early childhood programs are more likely to graduate from high school, hold a job, and make more money and are less likely to commit a crime than their peers who do not participate.