If one thing is true, it is that babies are our most vulnerable and precious resource. Children’s Funding Project is committed to financing services for all children and youth, but within that set of varied needs it is critical to protect and nurture our infants and toddlers from the beginning. This month’s newsletter highlights some of the important work occurring across the country to support babies and their families. As Kathy Stohr, Pritzker Children’s Initiative (PCI) Project Manager, has been saying: let’s make 2021 the year of “Big Bucks for Babies!"

Also: for a look back at our efforts to support the local financing of children and youth services, check out our 2020 year in review blog post.
At the State Level

  • While many states have taken some key steps to do a fiscal map, calculate the cost of care, or identify revenue to fill gaps, Wisconsin is one of the few to assemble all of this information into a strategic financing plan focused on infants and toddlers. CFP, with support from PCI and BUILD Initiative and in partnership with Wisconsin Early Childhood Association, helped determine what was currently being spent, how much they should be spending, and where that revenue could come from to adequately fund high quality early childhood care and education.  

  • To hear firsthand how Wisconsin completed their strategic financing plan for infant and toddler care, join our webinar, State-Level Strategic Financing: Bringing It All Together for Babies, on February 2nd at 2pm ET. Register for it here.
At the Local Level

  • In response to the pandemic, local dedicated funds throughout the country found ways to support infants and toddlers. Some, like the Children’s Services Council of Martin County, FL and Strong Start in San Miguel County, CO, used existing funds to ensure that childcare would remain accessible to frontline workers 24/7. They also held constant check-ins with vulnerable families, ensuring that new parents and infants remained safe and supported. For other actions that local dedicated funds took during COVID-19, see here.
  • The November elections led to multiple successes at the ballot box, leading to over half a billion dollars of new revenue per year generated locally. Much of this money will go to infants and toddlers, such as Escambia County's infant home visiting program serving 10,000 children and Multnomah County’s Preschool for All program, which includes $25M/year for an Infant and Toddler Slot Preservation Fund. For more on these new ballot initiatives, see here.
What we're reading (Infants & Toddlers Edition)

  • Olivia Allen, Assistant Director of Strategy: I’ve been reading the Prenatal-to-three State Policy Roadmaps from the Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center. It’s really helpful to see which states have made progress on the concrete policy and strategy goals that the Impact Center has identified.

  • Elizabeth Gaines, Executive Director: I’m reading the Alliance for Early Success’ newly released 50-State Progress Report, detailing the accomplishments states made in improving early childhood policies last year. Shout out to Texas for defeating cuts to early intervention and Idaho for winning appropriations for home visiting.
Expanding our team to do more in 2021

We are very excited to welcome two new members to the CFP team! Kate Ritter - Early Childhood Advisor - and Tom Devaney - interim Chief Administrative Officer - will expand the reach, capacity, and expertise of our organization. Kate has a long history of early childhood policy and financing and brings her great skill of cost modeling to CFP’s Find, Align and Generate work. Tom will leverage more than a decade of nonprofit finance and management experience to build the capacity of our operations team and ensure we are on a path for sustainable growth.