Children's Issues to Watch
Updated: December 3, 2013
- In the News: AAUW Blog: Student Mothers Need Child Care to Graduate - Today, more undergraduate students are enrolled in community colleges than in any other type of institution, and women especially are drawn to these schools - with their flexible schedules and affordable tuition - for higher education and workforce preparation. More than 4 million women are currently enrolled in community colleges, which can be gateways to better opportunities - but only if students parents get the resources they need.
Only 42 Percent of Eligible Children Participate in Head Start - Only four states—Connecticut, North Dakota, Oregon, and Vermont—filled their classes.only four states—Connecticut, North Dakota, Oregon, and Vermont—filled their classes. The report states that "these investments are too weak to benefit large numbers of young children experiencing the economic hardship and other circumstances that can pose serious risks to their health development and school success."
- In the News:Choosing Child Care When You Go Back to Work - The largest financial commitment that many new parents make is also the most emotional: choosing a full-time caregiver for your child as you head back to work. As many parents know all too well, it's a giant expense, often second only to housing costs. Many families pay the equivalent of college tuition. In 31 states and the District of Columbia, the annual average cost for putting an infant in a day care center full time was higher than a year's tuition and fees at a four-year public college in that state, according to a study released this month by Child Care Aware of America, a nonprofit group whose members include child care referral agencies.
- Advocacy Tookit from Winning Beginning NY: Taking Action Against Federal Sequester Cuts to Head Start and Early Education
- In the News: 10 Surprising and Counterintuitive Facts About Child Sex Trafficking
- In the News: Report: Child care costs more than college in much of U.S. - In more than half of states, it costs families more to put an infant in a child care center than to cover tuition and fees at a public college, according to a new analysis by Child Care Aware of America, a nonprofit advocacy group focused on child care access.
- In the News: Many Families Spend More on Child Care Than Rent, Study Says - The cost of child care increased up to eight times the rate of increase in family income from 2011 to 2012 and eclipsed every other household expense in the Northeast, Midwest, and South for families with two children attending a center-based program full time, says a report.
- In the News: Six new changes in children’s media habits - In 2011, 8 percent of families with children ages 0-8 owned an iPad or similar tablet device. In 2013, 40 percent of those families had an iPad or similar device. According to “Zero to Eight: Children’s Media Use in America 2013,” smart phone ownership has grown from 41 percent of families in 2011 to 63 percent of families today. Two years ago, roughly half (52 percent) of all children up to age 8 had access to a new mobile media device such as a tablet or smart phone. Now, 75 percent of children have this access.
- In the News: Planned Parenthood Texting, IM Program Helpful for Teens With Sexual Health Questions, Study Finds - The findings suggested "that the program was successful in reaching its target audience, with a large portion of users being young (=24 years), black, and Latino/Hispanic," the researcher wrote. The study also demonstrated that the program reached users at a vulnerable time.
- In the News: Silent Victims -- An Epidemic of Childhood Exposure to Domestic Violence - Over 15 million children are exposed to intimate partner violence (IPV) each year, and the health consequences of this exposure are well-documented. The Institute of Medicine and the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommend routine screening for intimate partner violence (IPV) in women of childbearing age. These recommendations represent an important step forward in improving the health of women affected by IPV.
- In the News: Caregivers need help ma'kin ends meet- Children being raised by grandparents or other close family members in New York state often fall through the cracks in receiving assistance from the state. Delegates at the fourth annual Kinship Care Summit are aiming to change that. "We urge the Assembly to pass the Relative Caregiver Bill (S.2094-a/ A.07189-a) — which the state Senate approved earlier this year — and give the many aunts, uncles and other non-grandparents who are raising children here the same rights as grandparents in securing legal guardianship or custody of these kids, accessing basic medical care, providing medical consent for them and enrolling them in school," said New York state Director for AARP, Beth Finkel.
- In the News: A Bid to Keep Youths Out of Adult Prisons - In a reversal of the tough-on-crime legislation that swept the nation in the late 1980s and ’90s, nearly half of the states have now enacted one or more laws that nudge more young offenders into the juvenile justice system, divert them from being automatically tried as adults and keep them from being placed in adult jails and prisons. Sarah Brown, a director of the criminal justice program at the National Conference of State Legislatures, said the shift stems from a decline in juvenile crime, concerns about the costs of adult prisons and a growing understanding of adolescent brain development showing that the young have a greater potential for rehabilitation.
- In the News: Sexual Harassment Rates Vary Among LGBTQ Teens, Study Finds — Rates of sexual harassment vary among sexual minority teenagers, with girls being the most vulnerable to harassment, according to a study published in Child Abuse and Neglect.
- In the News: 500 Children Die In Hospitals From Gunshot Wounds Every Year - 8 of 10 of those gunshot wounds were caused by handguns.
- In the News: Pivot Point: State Child Care Assistance Policies 2013 - Each year this report examines five critical factors that affect the help families can get in paying for child care. This year, we found that the landscape is uneven. Despite some improvements, child care assistance policies are still falling short in meeting the needs of families. Our report found that families are better off under one or more key child care policies than they were last year in 27 states — but in 24 states, families are doing worse.
- In the News: New Census Data Shows Increase in Child Poverty in NYC - The U.S. Census Bureau released their updated data from the 2012 American Community Survey and it once again showed child poverty to be increasing in New York City. The new data provides sobering evidence that, even four years after the economic recovery began nationally, New York City’s children and families continue to be profoundly impacted.
- In the News: NY City Unveils Campaign to Improve Girls’ Self-Esteem - The $330,000 campaign, called NYC Girls Project, will also offer physical fitness classes for girls through the parks department, a pilot program addressing self-esteem issues for girls at 75 after-school programs, and a Twitter campaign, #ImAGirl.
- In the News: Child-Care Rating Systems Earn Few Stars in Study - A new study on child-care rating systems appears to bolster concerns among some in the early-learning field that the ratings generated by those systems are only tenuously connected to learning outcomes.
- In the News: Opinion: End Mandatory Life Sentences - Mandatory life without parole still applies to some juveniles.
- In the News: Opinion: A Court Just for Juveniles in N.Y. - New York should create a special court for children under 18 charged with nonviolent crimes.
- In the News: Celebrating Forty Years for Children - The Children's Defense Fund (CDF) was founded in 1973 to make all children the focus of national attention emphasizing that there were and are more poor White than Black, Latino, Native American, or Asian children although children of color tend to be disproportionately poor. But we always pay special attention to the most vulnerable and poorest children who have the least voice.
- In the News: Rates of Physical and Sexual Child Abuse Have Declined, but Not Child Neglect — Each year, child protective services receive reports of child abuse and neglect involving six million children, and many more go unreported. The long-term human and fiscal consequences of child abuse and neglect are not relegated to the victims themselves -- they also impact their families, future relationships, and society.
- In the News: Children suffer from growing economic inequality among families since recession - American families are becoming increasingly polarized along race, class and educational lines, according to a new report released Wednesday, a sign of growing economic inequality that was exacerbated by the Great Recession.
- In the News: Fighting Poverty Crucial to Tackling Child Health Crisis, Experts Say - Awareness and activism about the threat poverty poses to childhood health is growing since the Academic Pediatric Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics conference in May.
- In the News: Congress Aims to Revamp Child-Care Grant Program - A long-stalled effort to renew the Child Care Development Block Grant Program would emphasize the quality and safety of programs children are entering.
- In the News: Ed. Dept. Releases Snapshot of U.S. Child-Care Arrangements - A majority of the 21.9 million children from newborns to age 5 in the United States spent at least one day a week in the care of someone other than a parent, and most parents say that the learning activities offered by that care provider are very important to them, according to a survey conducted by the federally funded National Center of Education Sciences.
- In the News: Break Sex Code of Silence to Boost Teens' Self-Esteem - A sex-saturated culture has made it more confusing than ever for female teens, launching them into sexual orbit before they're ready, says Jeannie Norris in this excerpt from "Parenting Great Girls." She gives remedial tips.
- Raise the Age NY is advocating for a comprehensive approach to raising the age of criminal responsibility in New York State. Youth in the adult criminal justice system are at high risk of victimization and abuse including physical abuse, sexual abuse, and placement in solitary confinement. Youth in adult facilities are 36 times more likely to commit suicide. Once released, youth face a lifetime of barriers associated with their criminal record. Most will be denied access to jobs and public housing. Some will face deportation depending upon their immigration status. Others will be turned away from colleges.
- In the News: According to the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF)’s new report Protect Children, Not Guns 2013 — 18,270 children and teens are killed or injured by guns in America each year.
- In the News: Child Model Advocates Press for New York Law - New York City lawmakers have agreed to propose legislation to protect child models. They hope the new law will take effect before fashion week in September. Media advocates have pressed this issue over the past year.
- In the News: America in Decline: A Baby Born in Parts of Ohio More Likely to Die Than One Born in North Korea or the Gaza Strip
- In the News: More Babies Die in America on Their First Day Than Anywhere Else in Industrialized World - According to a new report, first-day mortality rates in the industrialized world are the highest in the United States.
- In the News: As Child Care Costs Rise, Families Seek Alternatives
- In the News: Child care is a business issue, big and small
- In the News: Childhood poverty on the rise - Children have been hard hit by years of lean economic times. More than 1 in 5 U.S children live in poverty today - up 37 percent in a decade.
- In the News: The State of America’s Children 2012
- In the News: How America Became a Country That Lets Little Kids Go Homeless
- In the News: Child Care Director Is Also Diaper-Changer in Chief
- Expecting Better: A State-by-State Analysis of Laws That Help New Parents
- In the News: U.S. ranked 25th best country to be a mom
- In the News: U.S. Moms Die at Higher Rate than Irish, Italian
- In the News: Infant-Formula Companies Milk U.S. Food Program
- Child Poverty Increases in Most States
- In the News: Gender Bias Uncovered in Children's Books With Male Characters, Including Male Animals, Leading the Fictional Pack
Expecting Better: A State-by-State Analysis of Laws That Help New Parents
The National Partnership for Women & Families released a newest report, Expecting Better: A State-by-State Analysis of Laws That Help New Parents. We’ve given every state a grade based on how well its policies support working parents.
New York State got a B-!
Private Sector Workers - New York has no laws beyond the federal FMLA that guarantee job-protected family leave for new or expecting parents.
- Paid Medical Leave for Pregnancy Disability - New York’s Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) program provides up to $170 per week to eligible workers who are temporarily disabled, including women with pregnancy or childbirth-related disabilities. The TDI program is funded by contributions from employers and workers. 194 Although workers are eligible for up to 26 weeks of TDI, the typical period of pregnancy-related disability is four to six weeks prior to a woman’s due date and four to six weeks after delivery.
- Nursing Mothers’ Workplace Rights - All nursing mothers are entitled to reasonable break time and a room or other location close to their work area to express breast milk at work for up to three years after childbirth.
- from the National Partnership for Women & Families on May 8, 2012
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Child Poverty Increases in Most States
An annual national survey on child well-being found that 14.7 million American children – about 20 percent – were living in poverty in 2009, an increase of 2.5 million children since 2000. Child poverty increased in 38 states from 2000 to 2009. The Kids Count survey by the Annie E. Casey Foundation also concluded that low-income children will likely suffer academically, socially, and economically long after their parents have recovered from the economic recession. More than 20 states have also seen double-digit percent growth in the number of people seeking food assistance benefits from May 2010 to May 2011.
AAUW believes it is imperative that our national economic recovery plan reflect the realities of our nation and equally assist women as well as men to rebound from the recession. AAUW has worked to prevent cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which has been crucial in meeting a vastly increased need among people who lost jobs or income during the recession.
- from AAUW's Washington Update for August 19, 2011.
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