Long Island September Newsletter

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September 2011 E-Newsletter


Back of T-Shirts
School’s back in session, some parents are filled with gleeand some of us are filled with tears.  As our little ones embark on a new year of education, new friends and homework, we parents will continue to be their biggest advocate in all that they do.  Every Child Matters- LI is here to enhance your advocating needs and help you Step Up for all kids. Join us on October 15th where you will have fun with your family, partake in workshops that address making your vote and parenting count, as well as ask candidates running for office in Suffolk County where they stand on children’s issues.   


Knowledge is power so know the facts about your candidates before you vote this November.  


The 2011 Parents’ Convention is approaching quickly.  Childcare will be available for part of the convention.  Click here to register to be a participant or volunteer.

Issue of the Month: Childcare 


The Current Economy’s Impact on Child Care

Over 11 million children under age 5 spend a portion of their day, every week, in the care of someone other than their mother or father. The average young child of a working parent(s) spends about 36 hours a week in such care. About one-quarter of these children are in multiple child care arrangements strung together by their parents. The quality of care varies greatly and many working families struggle with the cost of care. With the current economic crisis, quality child care settings are even more important to the healthy development of children. In too many cases involving low income families, child care is the only place that children may receive a nutritious meal and snack, given that food is often one of the first places parents sacrifice as their family budget becomes tighter. Click here to read more from NACCRRA.  


What is happening on the Federal Level:   

The safety of children could be jeopardized if Congress continues cuts child care funding.  Federal child care funding is critical to help ensure that children are safe in child care. Urge your Members of Congress not to cut child care funding. Children need to be safe in child care and in a setting that promotes their healthy development. Given the weak economy, parents are struggling enough without having to worry if child care funding is cut and whether their children will be safe. Members of Congress need to hear from parents today.  Don’t let Members of Congress guess at what is important to parents.  Tell them now to invest in child care, not cut it!  Click here to compose a message to your representative. 


What is happening on Long Island:  

In Suffolk County the family weekly share (parent fee) has increased for families receiving child care assistance.  Employers need employees and employees need childcare, but unfortunately, due to cuts to childcare subsidies, about 335 families who will no longer be able to be subsidized for childcare.  Parents who are already struggling to make ends meet, may find themselves with no one to take care of their child while they work to put meals on the table. 


In an effort to assist families, a new website has been created ww.mybenefits.ny.gov. This is an online tool for to check ones eligibility for multiple human services benefit programs as well as to apply online for food stamps. You do not have to take time off from work to go to your local social services office to apply for food stamp benefits. You may apply for food stamps using the internet by going to www.mybenefits.ny.gov. After your application is filed, the Department will review your information, conduct a telephone interview and determine your household’s eligibility for food stamps.      

Childcare Councils on Long Island


Childcare Council of Nassau Offers child care counseling and referrals to families, professional development and technical assistance to active and potential providers, and offers services to employers interested in the child care needs of employee’s families. Council also serves as an informational resource and public voice for child care issues facing Nassau County’s diverse communities. Click here to access their website.   


Childcare Council of Suffolk Provides parents with referrals and information on evaluating quality child care, plus resources on various parenting issues. They offer providers access to valuable training and support services for new or established programs. Child Care Council of Suffolk also works to assess the supply and demand of child care in the community, and based on our findings, increase the supply where needed.  Click here to access their website.  

 ECM-LI Highlights 


The 2011 ECM-LI Parents’ Convention 

This is a free, community-inspired Parents Convention where parents from across Suffolk County will get a chance to have their voices heard as the exciting, mid-term election cycle approaches. 



-Fun games and activities 

-Free lunch 

-Parents directly ask elected officials where they stand on pressing children’s issues 

-Let elected officials know how you feel about issues related to children and families 

-Empowering workshops and speakers, as well as great child care 


Date: Saturday, Oct. 15th 

Time: 11-4pm 

Cost: FREE  

Location: Henry L. Stimson Middle School   

401 Oakwood Rd 

Huntington Station, NY 11746   

Click here for more information and to register.


About ECM-LI Convention Speaker 


Alice T. Cone a 45 year resident of Suffolk County has enriched countless lives through her humanitarian efforts.  Ms. Cone’s life has been dedicated to services that would not only benefit her children but her entire community as well. Her involvement with Long Island non-profits as the President, Director, Chairperson, Trustee, Advisory Member, and Advocate illustrates her devotion for humanity.


Ms. Cone has been recognized by numerous organizations for her endless dedication and service to society.  She is excited to speak with voters at the Parents’ Convention about the issues infants and children on Long Island face, and what we can personally do to make every child matter.

Advocacy Tip 


One of the easiest ways to advocate is by voting in all elections.  Make sure you vote because our kids can’t.  Know where the candidates stand on issues that affect children.  Then Vote.  Friday, October 7, 2011 is the last day to register for the 2011 General Election.  Registration forms must be postmarked 10/7/11 and received by 10/12/11. 

Click here for voter registration information.  

Click here for a list of candidates running for legislative office in your area.



Sarah Bilofsky’s insightful webinar, “Stop Being Scared – Start Making Friends With Your Legislator!” gives tips on how to effectively use the Winning Beginnings New York Advocacy Tools for Elected Officials for legislativ
e visits.  Click here to view the webinar. 


Back to school toolkit 

Beyond protecting proven children’s programs from reckless cuts, there is plenty more Congress can do to benefit working families with children during these challenging economic times. Our friends at the National Partnership for Women and Families are leading the fight for the Healthy Families Act and raising awareness about the need for a common sense paid sick days standard in this country – building on laws enacted in San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and the state of Connecticut.


This back-to-school season, we urge you to contact your elected officials and talk to other parents, teachers and school nurses in your community about the need for paid sick days. 


The  Partnership has put together a helpful back-to-school toolkit for you. Take a look, take action, and then speak out in your community.        

Success in Advocating 

Read on for good news… 


Childrens’ advocate & business owner Kathy Ligouri was inspired by ECM Reports to help with the efforts to make every child matter. 


In March, 2011, the monthly intake of Child Protective Services reports at the Suffolk County Department of Social Services reached a new record: 1052 reports. Suffolk County has the highest rate of Child Protective Services new intake reports in New York State outside of two boroughs in New York City. Discussions had been happening to reduce the likelihood of maltreatment and to better serve children and families. One very positive outcome of these discussions, as recommended by the Child Care Committee and SCDSS, was the spring, 2011 PCAN child-abuse awareness training for 87 child-care providers offered by the Child Care Council of Suffolk using one-time State pass-through federal ARRA stimulus funds. The success of this initial training led to this proposal for a second round of PCAN trainings which could serve as a New York State model to foster the recommendation made by the Every Child Matters Education Fund 2010 report, We Can Do Better: Child Abuse and Neglect Deaths in America, that “a public education campaign” be conducted “to encourage reporting of child abuse and neglect, and to enlist communities in the protection of children.”  Click here to read the entire proposal. 


Here’s a link for reports that ECM and other organizations have put out about childrens’ issues. Click here for the list. 


*Remember, “success” in advocacy is broadly defined and every action makes a difference. You know best what your local community needs. Keep up the great work!

Call to Action 


As part of the deal to increase the so-called “debt ceiling” last month, Congress agreed to create a committee of 12 Representatives and Senators, split evenly between the chambers and by party, to cut at least $1.2 trillion from the federal budget over the next 10 years. The committee begins meeting this week and Congress must act on their recommendations by year’s end. Click here to see a  time-line for when the committee must meet its goals.

Every health, education, and child safety program in the budget is at risk of being cut. If the committee fails to reach agreement, the budget is cut automatically. If this happens, certain children’s programs like Medicaid, Head Start, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program would be exempted from automatic cuts. However, many programs such as the Women, Infants, and Children nutrition program, and most education programs, would be cut severely.

It is important to let your representatives know that you are asking them to oppose cuts to children’s programs and to vote down any agreement that contains them. Children didn’t create the deficit, and Congress will not come close to balancing the budget by cutting kids while protecting tax breaks for millionaires. Click here to tell your members to protect children in any “super committee” agreement.   

A Word From ECM-National  


Three weeks ago we let you know about a comprehensive agenda to create jobs by Illinois Representative Jan Schakowsky. On Thursday, September 9th, President Barack Obama spoke to a joint session of Congress outlining his plan to create new jobs and address the employment crisis in the United States. The Every Child Matters Education Fund strongly supports jobs legislation that makes smart investments in the nation’s children.  The Americans Job Act will.. 

  • Prevent up to 280,000 teacher layoffs – keeping teachers in the classroom. The Americans Jobs Act invests $30 billion to help prevent up to 280,000 teacher layoffs.    
  • Support summer and year-round jobs for youth. The Recovery Act passed in 2009 provided 367,000 summer job opportunities to young people, giving them their first paycheck and teaching them life-long employment skills. Building on this success, the American Jobs Act provides states with support for summer job programs for low-income youth in 2012, and will build on that success by supporting year-round employment for economically disadvantaged young adults.   
  • Targeted Investments to Modernize Schools Serving Low-Income Students. The American Job Acts makes a $25 billion investment in school infrastructure that will modernize at least 35,000 public schools. This will create jobs by improving classrooms and upgrading our schools. Beyond emergency repair and renovation projects, this investment goes right into the classroom to build new science and computer labs and to upgrade technology. 40 percent, or $10 billion, will be directed towards the 100 largest high-need public school districts.  

In addition, the American Jobs Act will provide payroll tax cuts for parents of children who have jobs and an extension in unemployment insurance for parents currently seeking work. Click here for more. The Every Child Matters Education Fund strongly supports the American Jobs Act and urges Congress to not only pass it, but to add provisions that will create more jobs to provide child care for parents re-entering the workforce. Click here to send this message to your member of Congress.

Michael Petit  


Every Child Matters Education Fund


You can help win the fight for our kids.
Make a tax-deductible donation at www.everychildmatters.org.

Parenting Tip

Feeding is one of a parent’s most important jobs. It is how we help our children grow healthy and strong.  But mealtimes are about much more than food. Meal and snack times give you a chance to help your baby or toddler: learn healthy eating habits, feel important and loved, feel understood and respected, trust that others will care for him or her, feel good about her body.  


The handout Healthy Eating Strategies for Young Children suggests 8 ways that parents can help their baby or toddler develop healthy eating habits in the first three years.Click here for handout.  

Kids & Teens Take Action (KTTA) E-letter Highlight

Don’t forget to sign up for our Kid & Teen version of this newsletter.  It speaks to them directly and gives them ways that they can get involved in advocating.  You can share the link or print it out for a kid or teen you know.  There are also things you can do with your class to advocate. Click here to begin receiving that e-letter.

This months issue focuses on ways for the youth to start bringing their school and community together.

Upcoming Events and Opportunities 


Long Island Progressive Coalition Leadership Conference

This year confernce will feature our brothers and sister from the labor movement.  Discussions will be about the issues that help us build together and begin creating strategies that bring labor and community groups together to change the power dynamic. 

Date: Saturday, Sept. 17th 

Time: 9:00am-4:00pm 

Location: Molloy College, Suffolk Center, 7180 Republic Airport in East Farmingdale (East side of Route 110) 

Cost: Free  

Click here for more information


How to be Your Child’s Champion

There are opportunities – and so often the need – to advocate for our families and for ourselves. Yet as parents we often struggle to define our roles and be heard when speaking for our children whether it’s to a teacher, a coach, the pediatrician or to the many other important people in our child’s life.  This webinar will answer several questions.

Date: Thursday Sept. 22nd

Time: 1pm – 2pm

Location: On the web

Cost: Non-members $20

Click here for more information.   



LICADD’s  PUSH Advocacy Training


This training will help you understand how the political process works.  It will give you insight as to what the media wants.  Identifying key issues that our region is facing and mapping out a strategy for winning change will be included.  Have fun! Win an IPAD.

Date: Saturday September 24, 2011

Time: 10 A.M. – 4 P.M.

Location: Sheraton Long Island, Hauppauge, NY

Cost: Free

Click here for more information              


Suffolk Association for the Education of Young Children Annual Conference

Vicki Calderon, New York State AEYC 2011 Champion of Children Award Winner and Director of Suffolk Community College Kids Cottage in Brentwood.  Vicki will present her ideas on how to connect to the profession, the children and th
e families you work with.  

Date: Saturday Sept. 24th  

Time: 8am-4:05pm  (half day or full day) 

Location: CA Technologies   

Cost: see flier 

Click here for more information  


Take Back the American Dream 

The “American Dream” of a vibrant middle class is under siege. But there is a real middle-class uprising sweeping the nation to save it and renew it.  We want to channel that grassroots energy into an unstoppable force. Thousands will convene in DC to continue to build the American Dream movement, pushing for reform.  Activists who might not otherwise be able to afford the conference are encouraged to apply for a scholarship.

Date: October 3rd -5th

Location: Washington, DC 

Click here for more information


Champions for Children Luncheon 

Join keynote speaker Dr. Calvin Butts III at this luncheon where funds raised will help the Council to continue offering vital services like:

-Linking parents with child care options to meet their needs

-Offering child care providers educational and technical assistance

-Helping employers serve their workforce by organizing on-site child care programs and so much more.  

Date: Friday October 28th

Time: 11:30am -2pm

Location: Crest Hollow Country Club, Woodbury 

Cost: $100pp   

Click here for more information 


Grant Opportunities


Decentralization Grants  

The Huntington Arts Council recently announced their 2012 Long Island Decentralization Grants for the Arts Program for local not-for-profit organizations in Nassau and Suffolk Counties.  

Grants range from $500 to $5000. The deadline is October 7, 2011. Click here for more information. 


State Farm Good Neighbor Service-Learning Grants – $1,000

State Farm™ is proud to team up with YSA (Youth Service America) in a dynamic partnership to offer grants of up to $1,000 for the promotion of service-learning projects in K-12 public schools in all fifty US states and the District of Columbia, and in the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Ontario and New Brunswick.  Deadline is November 9th, 2011  Click here for more information.    


Whole Kids Grant-$2000

The Whole Kids Foundation, in partnership with Whole Foods and FoodCorps, is offering $2000 grants to support school garden projects in the USA.  To be eligible for a garden grant, applicants must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization or nonprofit K-12 school that is developing or currently maintaining a school garden project that will help children engage with fresh fruits and vegetables. Garden projects may be at any stage of development; planning, construction or operation.  There is a limit of one garden grant per school. Application deadline is Dec. 31st, 2011.   Click here for more information. 

Sept. 2011 E-Newsletter

In This Issue
Issue of the Month
ECM-LI Highlights
Advocacy Tip
Success in Advocacy
Call to Action
A Word From ECM-National
Parenting Tip
KTA Highlight
Upcoming Events and Opportunities
Quick Links
Register for Parents Convention
News on Long Island
Reports on LI

More About Us

Request a “I’m Voting for Kids” Bumper Sticker 

Request a “I’m Voting for Grand Kids” Bumper Sticker
Find out who represents you
Sign a Petition for Kids

Thank you for all that you do and enjoy the last few days of summer!

Contact Information

Shea Levin

LI Campaign Director