5/24/15: Tulsa World Article Promoting Top of the Town

Tulsa World published an article to promote Top of the Town.

Click here for the article

4/20/15: May Public Hearing

Child Care Services provided an update regarding the proposed combined requirement revisions affecting child care centers, school-age and part-day programs, day camps, drop-in and programs caring for sick children.  They mailed a draft of the proposed requirements to programs in September 2012 along with notice of public comment and public hearing locations.  Four public hearings were held.

The proposed requirement revisions have gone through the Child Care Advisory Committee, DHS Legal Services, executive and administrative approval and were formally submitted for legislative approval in January 2015.  During the Notice of Rulemaking Intent, a request for an additional public hearing was received.

The public hearing has been scheduled for Monday, May 18, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. at the DHS Sequoyah Building, 2400 N. Lincoln Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK  Room C-48.  Written comments may be submitted up to and during the public hearing by faxing to Child Care Services (405)522-2564.

The letter to providers:

  • Clarifies/reminds programs of the history of these proposed revisions and previous public hearings
  • Instructs programs on how to provide comments-which may be received up to and during the hearing on May 18
  • Provides a link to the proposed requirements
Click here for the letter from Child Care Services

4/8/15: Tulsa World Article About IITC Keynote

Diane Levin is featured in an article by Ginnie Graham from the Tulsa World about children and electronics.  She is a keynote speaker at the International Infant and Toddler Conference which runs from April 8-11, 2015.

Click here for the article

02/04/15: The Measles Outbreak: Should You Be Concerned?

CCRC’s registered nurse, Joyce Reynolds, put together some information related to the recent Measles outbreak.

Click here for more information

1/27/15: Channel 6 Highlights CCRC’s Toy Lending Library

Channel 6 did a news story on CCRC’s Toy Lending Library.  This is a great resource for all caregivers and families for only $25 annually.  

Click here for the news story

12/10/14: White House Summit Held Today on Early Education

The President hosted a White House Summit today on the importance of early childhood education.   He mentioned Invest In Us,  a challenge to public and private partners, business leaders, philanthropists, advocates, elected officials and you.  The goal is to build a better nation by expanding high-quality early childhood education programs for children from birth through age five.  The organizations at the White House Summit today are making $330M in new commitments.  The President said he is calling on everyone to make this a priority.  

“I’m pleased to announce that my Administration will award $750 million of new investments in our youngest Americans.” —Obama

Click here to learn more by  visiting the Invest In Us website

Click here to learn more about the White House Summit

Click here for the report, “Worthy Work, STILL Unlivable Wages: The Early Childhood Workforce 25 Years after the National Child Care Staffing Study”

11/17/14: CCDBG Reauthorization Bill Goes to President

BREAKING: Congress Sends Bi-Partisan Child Care Bill to President

For the first time in 18 years, Congress has passed CCDBG Reauthorization, as the bill now awaits President Obama’s signature to become law.

Today, the Senate voted to pass S.1086, the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014 led by Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), and Richard Burr (R-NC) and Representatives John Kline (R-MN), George Miller (D-CA), Todd Rokita (R-IN), and David Loebsack (D-IA)

In September, the House approved the measure by a voice vote, sending the amended version of the bill the Senate originally passed 96-2 in March 2014.

S.1086 includes measures to:
• Promote quality child care by increasing state-level investments in activities to improve the quality of care, enhancing states’ ability to train providers and develop safer and more effective child care services.
• Strengthen health and safety requirements in child care programs and providers.
• Improve access to child care by expanding eligibility for participating families and helping families connect with quality programs that meet their needs.

Now that Congress has passed the bill, it heads to the President’s desk for his signature to become law.

Click here to learn more about the Child Care and Development Block Grant.

11/14/14: Urge Your Senators to Reauthorize CCDBG

Yesterday in the US Senate, S.1086, a bill to reauthorize the Child Care and Development Block Grant cleared it’s last procedural roadblock before a vote on final passage can occur, likely set for Monday, November 17th.

The Senate, in another overwhelming sign of support for the legislation, held a cloture vote, to move forward to final consideration and it passed with tremendous bi-partisan support, with a final vote of 96-1.

When the Senate holds their next rounds of votes on Monday, a final vote to send CCDBG Reauthorization to the President for his signature to become law will be one of the first on the docket,

Over 11 million children under age 5 are in some type of child care arrangement every week. Standards for child care vary by state. Unfortunately, many states are doing little to protect the health and safety of children in child care or to promote school readiness.

Your Senators need to hear from you. You can help make a difference by telling your Senators to strengthen the Child Care and Development Block Grant as this year’s reauthorization of the CCDBG law nears the finish line.

Children in child care need to be safe and in a setting that promotes their healthy development. Let your Senator know that working parents have enough to worry about and this bill would make child care safer across the country.

9/23/14: CCDGB Senate Bill 1086 Update

The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) is the primary federal grant program that provides child care assistance to families, and funds quality initiatives for child care. Last March, the Senate approved the reauthorization of CCDBG which has not been reauthorized for 18 years with a vote of 96 ayes, 2 nays (Senator Coburn was one of the nays), and 2 didn’t vote (Senator Inhofe wasn’t present to vote). Then on Monday, September 15, the House approved the bill. The next step was that the Senate hotlined the CCDBG bill passed by the House. That means a recording is received in each office and it generally says something like… “the Majority Leader has the following unanimous consent request- to take up and pass the CCDBG bill just received from the House. Any Senator having an objection call the cloakroom.”

Senator Coburn from Oklahoma and Senator Toomey from Pennsylvania had objections. Senator Coburn objected because he had some concerns with the bill.  One is his continued concerns about the role of the federal government in regulating and subsidizing child care.  Another is the need for increased funding for CCDBG under the changes required of states by the bill.  The third is a concern about duplication of various federal child care programs, including the tax expenditures. Senator Toomey objected – not because of the content of CCDBG — but because he has a bill he wants a vote on that has not moved in the Senate. The Toomey bill is a background check bill for K-12 teachers that the House passed last year. Negotiations between Senators went back and forth. In the end, the Senators could not reach agreement.

Since the measure could not be passed by unanimous consent, Senate Majority Leader Reid came to the floor, asked to proceed to the bill, filed cloture, and several amendments. This means he filled the amendment tree so no amendments can be in order. Filing cloture means that both debate time on CCDBG will be limited, and anyone who tries to offer an amendment to CCDBG would have to try to offer an amendment that is relevant. Bottom line, The Senate has adjourned until November 12. When Senators return, there will be 2 votes on nominations at 5:30pm. After that, CCDBG will be the pending business. There could be a roll call vote or there could be a voice vote. The type of vote is unclear. What is likely is that there will be a roll call vote sometime the week of November 12. Keep tuned for follow up on this very important bill for families and child care programs throughout the country.

Click here for more information on the Child Care and Development Block grant 

9/18/14: Enterovirus Basics

4 Things to Know About the Enterovirus:

1 . There are many kinds of enteroviruses, including coxsackieviruses, echoviruses, polioviruses, the hepatitis A virus, and enterovirus D68. These viruses are common and infect millions of people every year. They can infect anyone, but they’re more likely to cause illnesses in infants, children, and teens who haven’t developed immunity against the virus, and people with weakened immune systems.

2 . EV-D68 causes respiratory illness, and the virus can be found in respiratory secretions such as saliva and mucus. The virus likely spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches contaminated surfaces.

3. There is no vaccine for preventing EV-D68, but you can help protect yourself and your students by following these steps:
• Wash hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds, especially before lunch or after recess or using the bathroom. Make sure to clean in between the fingers and under the nails, where germs can collect.
• Avoid touching the eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid sharing utensils.
• Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as desktops and doorknobs.
• Teach students how to cough safely – into their elbow, not their hands.

4 . No antiviral medications are currently available for EV-D68. But symptoms such as fever and muscle aches can be relieved while the infection runs its course, which often takes as little as a day or two. However, some people with severe respiratory illness may need to be hospitalized.

Click here for an article to share with parents about this virus