Rhode Island KIDS COUNT - News, Research and Policy Information
June 27, 2014
New Early Learning Fact Sheet Series  
Rhode Island KIDS COUNT has published four Early Learning Fact Sheets. Each 2-page Fact Sheet focuses on a specific area within the early learning continuum, and provides the latest available data, key facts, and recommendations for each topic. Please click below to learn more about:

Important Information about RIte Care Renewal

Approximately half of the young children in Rhode Island have RIte Care health insurance. Over the next 6 months, families who had RIte Care in 2013 will get a notice about renewing their coverage. The process to renew coverage is different than in the past. The yellow notice was mailed to the first group of families on Friday, June 20th.

Families must take steps to renew coverage in order to maintain access to their RIte Care coverage. For more information on how to help, a copy of the notice, and a printable flyer to share with families, please click here.
Early Childhood Policy and Programs in the RI State Budget and Legislation
State flag

Be on the lookout for the 2014 Rhode Island KIDS COUNT Legislative Wrap Up to be released in July. Below find a quick summary of how key early childhood programs and policies fared in the 2014 session:
  • The Cliff Effect Pilot Policy for the RI Child Care Assistance Program was extended until September 30, 2016 (a two year extension), allowing currently participating families to remain eligible as their income grows above 180% FPL ($35,622 for family of three) up to 225% FPL ($44,528 for a family of three).
  • The Back to Work Pilot Program providing child care assistance to low-income, unemployed families engaged in approved job training was extended until June 30, 2015 (a six month extension).
  • The State Pre-K program was funded at $3 million for FY15 (a $1 million increase pursuant to the expansion plan that is part of the education funding formula). 
  • State funding for Head Start remained stable at $1 million for FY15: 800,000 in general revenue plus $200,000 in state-directed federal resources.
  • State education aid funding will be adjusted beginning in Fall 2016 so that all districts transitioning from half-day to full-day kindergarten will receive full funding.
  • The Full-Day Kindergarten Incentive Fund has renewed funding of $250,000 to support one-time, start-up costs for districts transitioning to full-day kindergarten. Districts with high enrollment will be given priority for funding. 
  • A joint resolution passed establishing a special legislative commission to study the feasibility of implementing full-day kindergarten programs in all Rhode Island public schools. A report is due to the General Assembly on or before January 6, 2015. 
Legislation did not pass that would: 
  • Restore eligibility for the Child Care Assistance Program to low-income, working families with earnings up to
    225% FPL.
  • Allow low-income, working families currently participating in the Child Care Assistance Program to use additional hours of child care to cover time when they are engaged in education or training. 
  • Repeal the asset test and narrow the child support requirement to focus only on the child(ren) applying for the Child Care Assistance Program.
  • Require employers to make reasonable accommodations to employees for conditions related to pregnancy and child birth (including breast feeding). 
Special Report on Grade-Level Reading
Rhode Island KIDS COUNT recently released their newest Issue Brief, Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters. The report discusses the importance of reading proficiently by the end of third grade, access to high-quality educational opportunities, and recommendations to develop strong readers across the state. 

For more information, please see the full report, press release, and release event pictures

New American Academy of Pediatrics Recommendation - Read Aloud Daily

According to a new national policy written by Dr. Pam High of Hasbro Children's Hospital (former Board Chair of Rhode Island KIDS COUNT), the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that parents read aloud to babies from birth for healthy development. Reading aloud daily to children from birth helps with language development, success in school, and achievement later in life. Please read more about this new policy here.

New Resource - Help for Working and Unemployed Rhode Island Families

Many working and unemployed families in Rhode Island are eligible for services and benefits to help support their families. Programs such as health insurance (RIte Care), child care subsidies, tax credits (EITC), nutrition assistance (SNAP and WIC), and cash assistance (RI Works) are available to families with low or moderate incomes.

Rhode Island KIDS COUNT has released a new resource in English and Spanish, to help working and unemployed Rhode Island families learn about these services and benefits. If you would like hard copies of the publications, please email [email protected].
Visit us at www.rikidscount.org
In This Issue
starNew Early Learning Fact Sheet Series
starImportant Information about RIte Care Renewal
starEarly Childhood Policy and Programs in the RI State Budget and Legislation
starSpecial Report on Grade-Level Reading
starNew American Academy of Pediatrics Recommendation - Read Aloud Daily
starNew Resource - Help for Working and Unemployed Rhode Island Families
Are you interested in specific areas of child well-being?

Rhode Island KIDS COUNT publishes E-Newsletters on specific areas related to child well-being:
  • Children's Health and Health Insurance
  • Child Welfare/Juvenile Justice
Rhode Island KIDS COUNT also publishes a general interest E-Newsletter.

Please click here to start receiving these updates today!
Rhode Island KIDS COUNT works to improve the health, education, safety, economic security and development of Rhode Island's children.