Easter Seals released a state-by-state report last fall on early intervention. In almost every state infants and toddlers are falling behind. The Individuals with Disabilities and Education Act (IDEA), Part C is a federal grant program designed to help states operate comprehensive early intervention services for children birth through age two years. Unfortunately the program has never been fully or adequately funded and many babies are not getting the services they need. However, with the right investments in early intervention before the age of five, we could greatly improve the state of early intervention for millions of families in the U.S. Please join For Our Babies and share this information. The full Easter Seals report can be seen by clicking the link below:
Our Nation’s Children At Risk: A State-by-State Report on Early Intervention
This is such an interesting post. It brhugot back some memories of how it was 19 years ago when I had my first son. That was back when they started requiring that both mother and father could at least take family leave whether paid or not. My husband works for the Federal Government and the rule is that family leave is paid using your sick leave. He had to fight his boss when he wanted time off. His boss for some reason was not aware of the new law/program. He later had another boss (a woman who had a child of her own) who wanted him to go on a business trip during a time when a special school event was happening. She asked why I couldn’t just video tape it for him. She could not see any difference in being there or watching it later on TV.So I am coming from a position of feeling that my family comes first, however, I can also relate to Lindsay’s comment. I just don’t think it is as easy as it may appear. Why not hand out maternity leave, free college educations, and health care? I do believe in providing health care to all because it can be a matter of life or death but I think beyond that, it is a very slippery slope. I do NOT think that we should compare our country to other countries. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t consider ideas from other countries but we need to understand that our country is different from other countries. The people who risked their lives to settle our country were different than the people who stayed behind in their home countries. I’m not saying that either type is better, just different. In the same way, immigrants now come to our country because they like the idea of the American Dream. A big part of our history is ensuring that we have freedom from excessive government control. If we compare ourselves to other countries I think we need to think about why people settled here to begin with and why we have so many immigrants even today. I think these are the reasons why we cannot compare ourselves to other countries again, let me make it clear that I am NOT saying that we shouldn’t consider ideas from other countries but we shouldn’t just assume that people in other countries have it better. I do understand, Denise, that you didn’t mean for this post to be about comparing to other countries but since you mentioned it, the comments seem to be centered around that.Getting back to the intention of your post. I understand that our country may appear to only pay lip service to family values but I’m not sure that handing out paid family leave is the solution. MAYBE it’s a step in the right direction but I don’t think that is really going to make a significant impact on family values. In fact, I think that we may be stuck in a catch 22. People in our country have so much freedom. This means that we are free to make choices whether they are good or bad. I am not allowed to make better choices for another person. We need to be very careful when we grow our government. Can we really encourage better family values by giving people paid maternity leave? I know that a big part of your point may have been about helping underprivileged people. I guess it’s only fair that I point out that although I spend much more time than the average person giving back to my community by volunteering, my general philosophy tends towards the tough love direction. I rarely feel that throwing money at a situation is the best solution. I come from what most would consider a hard childhood but you’d never know that today. I believe that I was able to become what I am today because I live in our country. As Bee put it the American Dream, which, at it’s best, means that people trust in their own abilities – without relying on society to take over if necessary. The more mandates the government makes, the less choice I have whether those choices are good or bad are up to me. You found a way to make things work for you. Would you have better family values if you had a government that had laws that had made it mandatory for you to be paid for staying home? Would it have made others respect your family values more? Is this an area that we really want to follow other countries leads? These are the hard questions I think need to be asked because although it would make life easier for many, it might not be the best way about it.