child care

It’s Time to Expand Family Medical Leave

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that revolutionized the relationship between the American work force and medical care.  The law grants employees the right to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave from work due to the birth of a child or to take care of serious health needs for themselves or their immediate families.  However, FMLA omits much of the American work force and only guarantees unpaid medical leave.  This means that the protection offered by FMLA is unavailable and inadequate for many American families, leaving the health of millions of American children is at risk.  As pediatricians we can advocate for our patients by supporting legislation that expands FMLA. (more…)

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Giving our patients a HEAD START!

Head Start began in 1965 with the aim to provide children from low income families with skills to be ready for and to succeed in kindergarten and in life. It now serves nearly 1 million children from birth to age 5 years with comprehensive early learning services in classrooms, home-based programs and family child care partners. Pediatricians should promote Head Start in patient visits and through advocacy efforts at local, state and federal levels. (more…)

Help Update Nutritious Meal Pattern Requirements for Young Children

A proposed federal rule accepting comments until April 15, 2015 proposes changes to meal pattern requirements for young children served by the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) to better align with updated nutrition guidelines. Several proposed revisions would extend to affect the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, and Special Milk Program to be more consistent across all Child Nutrition programs, as well as move toward more nutritious meals for children in day care.  (more…)

Update: Protect Key Programs Critical to Child Nutrition

In a previous post on June 23, 2014, Dr. Michelle Ting highlighted H.R. 4800 (Sec. 739), the U.S. House bill concerning the Agriculture Department’s 2015 FY budget. Dr. Ting explained that the bill threatens to weaken federal child nutrition programs by creating a waiver from compliance with current nutrition requirements for schools that are able to demonstrate a net loss, for at least six months, from operating a food service program. With many children receiving as much as 50% of their daily caloric intake from meals at school, school nutrition standards play a large role in reducing the rate of pediatric obesity. (more…)

Childcare and Developmental Fund

All of us have had the opportunity to work with patients and parents who depend on having quality daycare available during the day in order to be able to work and provide for their families. The child care and developmental fund was established in 1998 in order to help these families, as well as to provide standards for the quality of care that children receive in these facilities. In 2014, this fund is up to be reauthorized with some important additions. The senate has passed the legislation and it is now in the house for approval. (more…)