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March 2015
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State Budget Highlights, Hearings

Governor Christie’s proposal state budget includes slight increases in education and preschool aid, as well as more money for health insurance. It also anticipates a substantial increase in federal funding for school breakfast – the result of more districts serving breakfast during the first few minutes of the school day, rather than before school when students have not yet arrived. That funding is expected to increase to $92 million – a 93 percent jump since state Fiscal Year 2011.

There are still no plans to fund preschool expansion or restore tax credit cuts to the working poor.

Read ACNJ’s budget summary on children’s issues.

View the budget in brief.

View schedule of budget hearings.

Advocates Support Extension of Federal Health Insurance Funding

The First Focus Campaign for Children, a national bipartisan children’s advocacy organization, expressed strong support for legislation that would extend funding for the bipartisan federal-state Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). These funds help support NJFamilyCare, the state’s popular health insurance program. The bill would extend federal CHIP funding for four years. Unless Congress acts first, CHIP funding will end on October 1, 2015.

Learn more.

Report: Supports Lift Kids Out of Poverty

Food stamps, school breakfast, tax credits and other anti-poverty supports make a critical difference in the lives of nearly 250,000 New Jersey children who would otherwise grow up in poverty, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

When measuring child poverty based on the real needs of families, 31 percent of New Jersey children would be living in families who lack the resources to meet their children’s basic needs. However, when supports are factored in, that percentage drops to 19 percent, according to the KIDS COUNT® Data Snapshot, Measuring Access to Opportunity in the United States.

Read more.

Free Training on Infant Mental Health

Keeping Babies & Children in Mind is a training series of workshops in infant and early childhood mental health that is being offered at no cost to professionals who work with infants, toddlers, young children and their families (pregnancy through age eight). This project is funded through a Superstorm Sandy social service block grant through the NJ Department of Children and Families.

Learn more and register for a training. 

Be Part of the Preschool Expansion Movement

The new campaign, Pre-K Our Way, is holding free forums throughout New Jersey to give you a chance to be part of bringing quality preschool to our children. Join with neighbors, colleagues, parents, grandparents, teachers, principals, superintendents, board of education members, early childhood education advocates, business people, elected officials and others as we move toward making quality preschool available to all children in your community. Attend an event and help determine how our children can be prepared for school, ready for success.

Register today.

Newark Kids Count Release Set for March 10

ACNJ will electronically release Newark Kids Count 2015 on Tuesday, March 10. Watch your e-mail to learn how children in New Jersey’s largest cities are faring. There are some surprises! Stay tuned.

Advocates for Children of New Jersey

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