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Grandfamilies: Don’t miss the 4th Annual Grandparent Ambassador Summit!

Grandfamilies:

iStock_000002695602XSmallDon’t miss the 4th Annual Grandparent Ambassador Summit!

December 6, 2014, 9:00AM-4:00PM
Registration and Resource Fair Open at 8:30am
Breakfast & Lunch Included
Location: Salvation Army Kroc Corps Center, 1375 E. Broadway, Phoenix, AZ 85040

Space is limited. Early Registration is required to reserve your space.

It is a day full of networking, advocacy, education and fun for you and your grandchildren.The day will include breakfast, lunch, fabulous workshops, a panel of legislators, resource tables and inspiring speakers.

Registration is now open at a cost of only $5 per adult and $5 per family for child care.

Click here to print the registration form.

How Does Arizona Grade in Child Care Assistance?

child care blocks rounded cornersJust as some low income working families in Arizona are beginning to benefit from the small increase in funding to Child Care Assistance, a new report shows that we still have a long way to go. Last week, the National Women’s Law Center released its annual report on the impact of state child care policies entitled Turning the Corner: State Child Care Assistance Policies 2014. The report examines how five critical factors such as reimbursement rates and waiting lists, influence the access, affordability and quality of child care in all 50 states.

Here in Arizona, freeing up $4 million in funding for child care enabled the state to open up the waiting list for the first time since 2011. Unfortunately, there are still thousands of families who qualify for services but who aren’t receiving them. And Arizona is only one of two states still paying child care centers and homes at the year 2000 market rates, ranking us dead last in the nation. 27 states currently pay rates from 2010 or after. For a one year old child in a child care center, this means that the center is currently receiving approximately 47% lower than the market rate in the community. This gap ties us with Michigan for the worst in the country.

So, more work lies ahead to advocate for restoration of funding for child care assistance and taking a critical look at our state policies that shape early education for so many children in Arizona.

Click here to review the full report.

Budget Requests Part 1: DES

accounting machineState agencies have submitted their funding requests for the next fiscal year which begins July 1. Over the next few weeks we will be providing you with a snapshot of requests submitted by many of these agencies. The first snapshot is of the Department of Economic Security’s request for $49 million additional general fund dollars – a 10% increase over current funding. See our fact sheet for specifics.

As a reminder – child protective services is no longer part of DES but is now in the new Department of Child Safety, which we will report on separately within the next few weeks.

LD 18 candidates visit Family Resource Center

Proposition might ease access to child-abuse files

Candidates Impressed with Early Childhood Program

Child MCRYesterday, Children’s Action Alliance and the Child Crisis Center hosted six legislative candidates at the Family Resource Center in Mesa to talk about an early childhood program, called MyChild’sReady. MyChild’sReady helps families right in their own homes with mentoring, parenting coaching, and links to supports and services.

Because only 33% of Arizona children participate in preschool, programs like MyChild’sReady provide valuable resources to parents and a critical strategy so kids enter school ready to learn. Research shows that educational success depends on what happens to children before they ever start Kindergarten. Parent educators provided 8,500 home visits last year and gave moms and dads practical tools to strengthen their parenting.

Parent Speaker MCRAlong with a representative from Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema’s office, candidates from legislative districts 12, 18, and 26 attended the event, including Mitzi Epstein, Jill Norgaard, Juan Mendez, DJ Rothans, and Andrew Sherwood.

Candidates toured the Family Resource Center, had the opportunity to hear about the program from an East Valley mom, and visited with families and children who were participating in dental, vision and hearing screenings as well as a hands-on cooking class for kids. Thanks to all the candidates who came out to learn about this vital service to families and the importance of early childhood education!


Speaking of candidates for the legislature, remember that election day is fast approaching. If you would like to receive an early ballot and are not on the Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL) you still have time to have one mailed to you. If you contact your county recorder’s office by this Friday, October 24th at 5:00 p.m. they will mail one to arizona election 2014 220pxyou.

Remember you must mail your completed ballot back in as soon as possible and no later than Friday, October 31st in order for it to get to your county recorder’s office by election day. You can also drop off your completed early ballot at ANY polling place on election day.

2014 candidate questionnaireBefore you vote, visit our legislative candidate questionnaire page to learn where the candidates stand on the issues important to the children and families of Arizona.

Thank you for a great event!

Thank you to everyone who joined us last Friday for the 16th annual Through the Eyes of a Child Awards Lunch and Celebration of Youth. It was a wonderful event because of the energy, enthusiasm and generosity of our sponsors and guests.

More than 500 people filled the ballroom as CAA honored Senator Leah Landrum Taylor and Mr. Gene D’Adamo for their outstanding work for children and families. A special thank you to Vicki Mayo and Representative Debbie McCune Davis for their inspiring remarks!

Looking forward to seeing you again next October.

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Event 2 small 

Guests browsing the silent auction

Raffle ticket sales

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Catherine Anaya small 

Getting ready for lunch…

CBS 5 News Anchor and Event 
Emcee, Catherine Anaya 

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Dana Wolfe Naimark
CAA President and CEO 

(L-R) CAA Board Chair Greg Wells,
Sen. Leah Landrum Taylor,
Gene D’Adamo, and
Dana Wolfe Naimark

For more pictures and videos, visit the CAA Events Page on our website at http://azchildren.org/events.

Arizona still ranks among the worst for cuts to K-12 education

Arizona ranks third worst in the country in depth of cuts to school funding since the start of the recession. Comparing fiscal year 2015 state funding per student, adjusted for inflation, Arizona has cuts investment in K-12 schools by 17.5 percent since 2008. Only two states have made bigger cuts, according to a report released by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

frustrated student 220pxIf the additional inflation funds required under Cave Creek v. Ducey had been included, the investment cut would be 9.6 percent and Arizona would rank 16th worst.

Information released by the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC) staff in August also shows Arizona’s per student investment in K-12 education, when adjusted for inflation, to be lower than before the recession. Although the methodology varies from that used by CBPP, JLBC also calculates that funding per student, adjusted for inflation, has fallen – by 16 percent when looking at state and local funds combined.

Click here to read the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report.

Report: Arizona’s Education Funding Cuts Rank Among Nation’s Highest

Don’t be fooled by the claims that Prop 122 will protect children it won’t.

Prop 122 supporters are using children for political games. Contrary to their claims, Prop 122 does nothing to keep kids safe or find loving homes for abused and neglected children.

prop 122 enews photoProp 122 will NOT allow CPS or the new Department of Child Safety (DCS) to release more individual child abuse case records to the public. The responsibility for transparency is in Arizona’s hands. We should hold the Governor, state legislature and DCS accountable for building open communication that doesn’t endanger individual children.

The Arizona state legislature put Prop 122 on the ballot, telling Arizona voters they should blame federal laws for Arizona’s budget problems. This is far from the truth for child safety. Our federal taxes provide millions of dollars in critical funding to help Arizona respond to children who have been abused or neglected. The CPS crisis was created because of Arizona’s many years of poor management, understaffing, and underfunding — not because of the federal government.

When it comes to child abuse and neglect, Arizona has real problems. Fixing them starts with holding DCS, the legislature and the Governor accountable, not pointing fingers at someone else. Proposition 122 is a dangerous distraction to the real work Arizona needs to sustain our new commitment to child safety.