A bi-weekly e-brief of the DEC Children's Action Network
★  The U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Education (ED) announced the release of an interagency policy statement on early childhood homelessness. The statement recommends ways DEC members at the local and state levels can collaborate with housing providers to better meet the needs of pregnant women and families with young children who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

★ After a year and a half of campaigning, the U.S. has selected a new President. President-elect Donald Trump will begin to prepare to take office now through inauguration day on January 20th, 2017. Federal agencies have been preparing for the transition months in advance of election day and are prepared to work with the incoming administration. To learn more about the transition process, visit the Center for Presidential Transition at http://presidentialtransition.org/

Other updates, courtesy of the Council for Exceptional Children:

Guidance to Define a Well-Rounded Education
Save the Date for the third annual Special Education Legislative Summit (SELS)!  Please be sure to mark your calendars for July 9th-12th, 2017! 

Now more than ever we need your participation and support! It will be vital to initiate relationships with your newly elected members of Congress on Capitol Hill, as well as continue conversations with current members of Congress! DEC Subdivision CAN Coordinators welcome! 

If you have any questions, please contact Katie Grady at 703-264-9498 or at katieg@cec.sped.org. More logistical details including schedules and registration will follow in the upcoming months. 

Additional national policy and advocacy updates from our partners:

★  Join Child Care Aware® of America for a recap of the 2016 election results. The policy team will provide a preview of the next administration and Congress, including a summary of potential cabinet members, congressional leadership and committee changes, and an overview of state legislatures. The presenters for the webinar will be Jay Nichols, Director of Federal Policy and Governmental Affairs with CCAoA, and Michelle McCready, Chief of Public Policy with CCAoA. 
  • Webinar details: The webinar will take place November 16, 3 PM ET from your computer and will be recorded for those who cannot attend. 
  • Register here today!
  • With the election over and a new president elect, Congress will be returning to Capitol Hill to address the budget over the next few weeks. The continuing resolution passed by Congress (H.R. 5325) in September froze current spending levels through December 9th. Congress will seek to pass a new budget or approve another continuing resolution by that time. Your voice on early childhood special education and intervention budget matters is needed! Please go to CEC's Legislative Action Center and send a letter to your members of Congress to tell them education cannot absorb any further funding cuts. You can also tweet your Senators or tweet your Representatives. DEC will provide more specific action alerts regarding the FY 2017 budget when Congress reconvenes to begin deliberations. 
  • DEC is still seeking a new Policy Council Chair! Ashley Lyons has served as Council Chair since its inception in 2014, but will now be transitioning into a new role at DEC focused on building up the Children's Action Network. DEC believes strongly in building leadership, and it is time for a new chair to continue the important work of planning and supporting DEC policy and advocacy activities that reflect the formal position of DEC, including developing and maintaining strategies and initiatives that are central to supporting DEC's missions and believes. Please consider applying today! The application will remain open until filled. 
  • The DEC Position Statement on child maltreatment was presented to the membership at the 2016 DEC Conference.  The development team is currently working with early childhood partners who have asked to endorse DEC's Position Statement. The position statement has come a long way and we believe it will make a valuable contribution to the DEC community and beyond. The position statement can be found here.
  • Thanks to everyone who made the DEC 2016 conference a success! Select resources from policy and advocacy specific sessions will be made available at decpolicy.org in the near future.
  • We continue to seek new members who are interested in supporting our work. New members to the Council will be considered "at-large" and will shadow existing members to ensure a smooth transition. If you want to stay up-to-date about what is happening in the field and within DEC and would like to lend your voice, please complete the application survey so we can match you to opportunities that fit best with your interest, experience, and availability.  
Children's Action Network
1 - DEC Advocacy Webinar
  • What: The Policy Statement in Action: How States are Using the Inclusion Policy Statement to Make Change
    • This webinar will discuss how states are using the Policy Statement on the Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Early Childhood Programs developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Education. Participants will engage in a discussion on the key features of the Policy Statement, examples of how states are making strides to improve inclusion, and the various resources available to states.
  • When: Thursday, November 10th, 11am-1pm ET (Tomorrow!)
  • Where: GoToTraining
  • How to attend: Register here to attend.
    • After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the training. 
2 -   DEC Advocacy Webinar 
  • What: DEC Advocacy Webinar 
  • Where: GoToTraining
  • When: December 12 th, 11am - 12pm EST
  • How to Attend: Register here to attend.
    • After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the training.
★ Have you reviewed the interagecy policy statement on childhood homelessness?  

YES       NO       UNSURE

Will you register for the Child Care Aware® webinar about unpacking the implications of the 2016 election on November 16th?  

YES       NO       UNSURE

Will you review the new CEC CAN materials?   

YES       NO       UNSURE

Did you vote in the 2016 election?
   YES      NO      
Will you commit to attend (or watch if unable to attend live) quarterly advocacy webinars?

    YES      NO      

★ Will you pledge to take action to contact your representatives and senators to improve IDEA funding for early childhood intervention and early intervention in the continuing resolution (CR) when prompted?  
    YES      NO      
★ Will you apply, or ask a colleague to apply, for the Policy and Advocacy Council Chair position?  
    YES      NO      
Have an early childhood special education policy or advocacy story you would like to share? Whether you are a Subdivision leader/member or just an interested DEC member unaffiliated with a Subdivision, contact brittany@dec-sped.org or DEC CAN Coordinator anlyons@kent.edu to share what's happening in your state or Subdivision or just to bring awareness to an important policy or advocacy issue relevant to DEC. 
Please note that all story submissions must be non-partisan in nature. If you are interested in guidance on how to craft your story and/or how to ensure it is non-partisan, Ashley Lyons will be happy to help! Selected stories will be shared in a future issue of YES DEC CAN!