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   June 25, 2014
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State Advocacy Highlights


Parents as Teachers of Yavapai County helped to plant 2,700 Pinwheels for Prevention for Child Abuse Prevention Month.


In March, ConnPAT advocates attended a policy panel discussion at the Connecticut Parent Engagement Network (CTPEN) conference and participated in a letter writing campaign to support S.25, a bill establishing the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) in Connecticut. In May, the bill became law! The Office of Early Childhood will be responsible for coordinating and improving the delivery of early childhood services for Connecticut children. The bill codified the Office of Early Childhood giving the Office the necessary statutory authority over its various programs.


During the Month of April Delaware PAT advocates initiated a letter writing campaign to thank their legislators for 26 years of investment in Parents as Teachers. Over 150 letters were hand-delivered to legislators at the Capitol. PAT also sponsored the Delaware Association on the Young Child (DAEYC) Early Learning Advocacy Day on May 7th at Legislative Hall.


Parents as Teachers programs from across the state participated in the Ounce of Prevention  Early Childhood Education Advocacy Day on April 29. Participants learned about current legislative and budget issues involving Preschool for All, home visiting and child care. Parents and children who couldn't attend Advocacy Day submitted an Advocacy Day Coloring Project, for hand delivery to their legislators. PAT advocates also participated in a letter writing campaign to support the extension of income tax rates that are a vital revenue source for the Early Childhood Block Grant and the state's MIECHV "maintenance of effort" funding.


The Kansas Parents as Teachers Association took their case to the Capitol March 5, 2014. Parents and children participated in block play activities, while others dropped off educational letters to their legislators. Governor Sam Brownback stopped by for a visit with parents.


In April Parents as Teachers advocates in Michigan participated in a letter writing campaign to the legislature to support early learning scholarships and legislation to foster a stronger system for home visiting as part of the early childhood development continuum. In May, the Governor signed a budget bill that included $4.65 million more for early learning scholarships! This means nearly 1,000 more Minnesota children will have access to high quality early learning.


In March, Parents as Teachers (PAT) celebrated it's 30th anniversary of Missouri's groundbreaking legislation to support early learning in the state by hosting a special advocacy day at the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City, MO. During MOPAT's Advocacy Day, families participated in hands-on block activities in the Capitol rotunda. Click on the YouTube screencapture below to see a video of the event. In April, the Hannibal School District hosted U.S. Congressman Sam Graves at a site visit to their Early Childhood Center.


In February, the Pennsylvania PAT State Office hosted an online learning session hosted by the Center for Schools and Communities with support from the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL). The webinar,  Educators as Advocates: Telling Your Parents as Teachers Story to State & Local Public Officials, was presented by the advocacy team at the National Center. To schedule a webinar for your program, click here.

West Virginia 

In April, WV Parents as Teachers advocates participated in a call-in campaign to Governor Tomblin to urge him to use the May special legislative session to revise his cuts to vital family programs, especially in-home family education. In May, the Governor partially restored the cuts to home visiting.  PAT advocates have joined the Our Children, Our Future campaign to help get the remaining cuts restored.

Did your program do something awesome this legislative session? Tell us about it and we'll include a story in the next newsletter. Email your story and pictures to:

Inside This Issue
  MIECHV is Extended. What's Next?  
We did it! On March 31, Congress extended MIECHV funding for one additional year. A national coalition of home visiting advocates has already reconvened and started planning for a longer, sustainable reauthorization. The coalition consists of evidence-based home visiting models, advocates from early childhood education, maternal child health, social services, law enforcement, business leaders, and YOU!

There are many ways that your program can help to build support for a longer reauthorization among Members of Congress. One key way is to invite your Member of Congress on a home visit or site visit. A first hand experience is always the best way to engage and educate lawmakers.

To help PAT Affliates with this effort, the National Center will release an advocacy toolkit this summer entitled, "Building a Relationship with Your Elected Official." The toolkit will help you plan home visits, site visits, and in-district meetings with your legislators. Stay tuned in to the National Center's action alerts for additional opportunities, including targeted letter writing campaigns and calls for letters to the editor.
As always, if you need help planning a meeting or event with your legislator, send us an email at:


  Using Title I to Support PAT in Schools  

School districts recieve a wide range of financial support for the implementation of their Parents as Teachers programs, including funds from government agencies, private foundations, and corporations. One funding stream that is often overlooked by LEA's is federal funding through the U.S. Department of Education, Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Title I, Part A.

Title I, Part A can be used for students as young as preschool age and for parental involvment. In fact, non-regulatory guidance from the U.S. Department of Education indicates that LEA's writing their Title I, Part A parent involvment policy should coordinate and integrate early childhood programs such as Parents as Teachers.


Recently, the Carthage School District in Missouri raised private dollars and used Title I funds to build their new early childhood center. The district will be reimbursed about $2 million in federal funds for the portions of the building dedicated to early childhood special education and Title I preschool. The building will house Parents as Teachers, early childhood special education, and Title I preschool in one facility. Housing each of these programs in the same building allows counselors and teachers to communicate better about young children who sometimes need the services of two or all three of those programs.

School districits can use the PAT funding guide to review how to use Title I funds for their PAT programs. The resource guide also provides information for developing and sustaining funding, tips for writing competitive grant proposals, and other helpful links for finding state-level funding opportunities. 


U.S. Department of Education (2014). Title I, Part A


  Free Bill Tracking System  

To sign up for TrackBill, visit: and click on "Create a Free Account."  After creating an account and tracking your bills, committees and legislators, you will begin receiving real-time notifications (at the frequency you chose) on:

Bills: bill actions, scheduled bill hearings
Committees: scheduled committee hearings, referred bills
Legislators: sponsored bills, cosponsored bills

Use the keyword search feature to start tracking bills related to home visiting. A few key words to track are: "home visiting," "in-home family education," and "maternal infant early childhood education."
Please note that you can only monitor one state with a free account. If you have questions about what to track, which committees to track, how to use keyword tracking, or want to know how to track multiple states, please call or email us for help.


  New Toolkit: Twitter for Advocacy  

Did you know that the National Center's Public Policy & Advocacy Department offers advocacy webinars and toolkits for PAT programs? Give us a call or email if you are interested in learning more or to receive a copy. The newest toolkit is "Using Twitter for Advocacy." Additional advocacy toolkits will be rolled out during 2014.



  New Toolkit: Building PAT/Childcare Partnerships  
In partnership with the Early Care and Education Consortium, the Parents as Teachers National Center has posted a toolkit on its website to help PAT programs develop an appropriate collaboration with local child care centers or Early Head Start programs. See the links below for more about how PAT/EHS collaboration might work in relation to a partnership grant.

• Access online webinars about the Early Head Start/Child Care Partnership.
• Access the toolkit.


  Conference Will Offer Advocacy Track  
Join us in St. Louis on October 8-10 for the 2014 Parents as Teachers Conference. The conference is focused on the home visitor, and with 48 sessions and 8 tracks, there will be something for everyone. This year we're pleased to offer a Community Engagement and Advocacy track:
  • How Telling Your Parents as Teachers Story Makes You a Powerful Advocate
  • Community Mobilization: Home Visitors Working Together Toward a Common Goal
  • Pump Up the Volume: Using New Media Tools for Advocacy Activities
  • "Yes, I Can Fundraise!"
  • Improving Public Safety and Stemming Prison Growth Through Quality Early Education
  • Using Technology to Enhance Efficiency for Home Visitors