| Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S. 2412 (rs) To amend title 49, United States Code, to authorize appropriations for the National Transportation Safety Board for fiscal years 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003, and for other purposes. [Reported in Senate] ...
S. 2412 (rs) To amend title 49, United States Code, to authorize appropriations for the National Transportation Safety Board for fiscal years 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003, and for other purposes. [Reported in Senate] ...
108th CONGRESS 2d Session S. 2412 To expand Parents as Teachers programs and other programs of early childhood home visitation, and for other purposes. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES May 12, 2004 Mr. Bond (for himself and Mr. Talent) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To expand Parents as Teachers programs and other programs of early childhood home visitation, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Education Begins at Home Act''. SEC. 2. FINDINGS. Congress finds that-- (1) the home is the first and most important learning environment for children, and parents are their children's first and most influential teacher; (2) through parent education and family support, we can promote parents' ability to enhance their children's development from birth until entry into kindergarten thereby helping parents to prepare their children for success in school; (3) undiagnosed and unaddressed developmental and health problems can impede overall child development and school readiness; (4) all parents deserve and can benefit from-- (A) research-based information regarding child development; (B) enrichment opportunities with their children; and (C) early opportunities to become involved with their community and schools; and (5) early childhood home visitation leads to positive outcomes for children and families, including readiness for school, improved child health and development, positive parenting practices, and reductions in child maltreatment. SEC. 3. PURPOSES. The purposes of this Act are as follows: (1) To enable States to deliver services under Parents as Teachers programs, or other programs of early childhood home visitation, to pregnant women and parents of children from birth until entry into kindergarten in order to promote parents' ability to support their children's optimal cognitive, language, social-emotional, and physical development. (2) To improve Early Head Start programs carried out under section 645A of the Head Start Act (42 U.S.C. 9840a). (3) To expand Parents as Teachers programs, or other programs of early childhood home visitation, so as to more effectively reach and serve families with English language learners. (4) To expand Parents as Teachers programs, or other programs of early childhood home visitation, so as to more effectively reach and serve families serving in the military. SEC. 4. DEFINITIONS. In this Act: (1) Eligible family.--The term ``eligible family'' means-- (A) a woman who is pregnant; or (B) a parent or primary caregiver of a child who is from birth until entry into kindergarten. (2) Home visitation.--The term ``home visitation'' means services provided in the permanent or temporary residence, or in other familiar surroundings, of the individual receiving such services. (3) Secretary.--Except as provided in section 8, the term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of Health and Human Services. (4) State.--The term ``State'' means each of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. SEC. 5. STATE GRANTS FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD HOME VISITATION. (a) Authorization.--The Secretary, in collaboration with the Secretary of Education, shall make grants to States to enable such States to establish or expand Parents as Teachers programs, or other programs of early childhood home visitation, as specified under subsection (f). Each grant shall consist of the allotment determined for a State under subsection (b). (b) Determination of Reservations; Amount of Allotments; Authorization of Appropriations.-- (1) Reservations from appropriations.--From the total amount made available to carry out this section for a fiscal year, the Secretary shall reserve-- (A) 3 percent for an independent evaluation of the activities carried out under this Act, as specified in section 9; (B) not more than 5 percent for Federal administrative costs; and (C) 2 percent for training and technical assistance for States. (2) State allotments for early childhood home visitation.-- (A) In general.--In accordance with subparagraph (B), the Secretary shall allot among each of the States the total amount made available to carry out this section for any fiscal year and not reserved under paragraph (1), to carry out early childhood home visitation in accordance with this section. (B) Determination of state allotments.-- (i) In general.--Subject to clause (ii), the Secretary shall allot the amount made available under subparagraph (A) for a fiscal year among the States in proportion to the number of children, aged from birth to 5 years, who reside within the State, compared to the number of such individuals who reside in all such States for that fiscal year. (ii) Exception.--No State receiving an allotment under clause (i) may receive more than $20,000,000. (3) Authorization of appropriations.--There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $400,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2005 through 2007. (c) State Grant Applications.--A State that desires to receive a grant under this section shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require. The application shall contain the following information: (1) An assurance that the Governor of the State has designated a lead State agency, such as the State educational agency or the State health and human services agency, to carry out the activities under this section. (2) An assurance that the State will, if requested, participate in the independent evaluation under section 9. (3) An assurance that the State will reserve 10 percent of the grant funds for training and technical assistance of staff of programs of early childhood home visitation. (4) The results of a statewide needs assessment that describes-- (A) the quality and capacity of existing programs of early childhood home visitation in the State; (B) the number and types of eligible families who are receiving services under such programs; and (C) the gaps in early childhood home visitation in the State. (5) A State plan containing the following: (A) A description of the State's strategy to establish or expand Parents as Teachers programs, or other programs of early childhood home visitation, to serve all eligible families in the State. (B) A description of the Parents as Teachers programs, or other programs of early childhood home visitation, that will be supported by a grant under this section. (C) A description of how the proposed program of early childhood home visitation will promote positive parenting skills and children's early learning and development. (D) A description of how the proposed program of early childhood home visitation will incorporate the authorized activities described in subsection (f). (E) How the lead State agency will build on and promote coordination among existing programs of early childhood home visitation in an effort to promote an array of home visitation that ensures more eligible families are being served and are getting the most appropriate services to meet their needs. (F) How the lead State agency will promote channels of communication between staff of programs of early childhood home visitation and staff of other early childhood education programs, such as Head Start programs carried out under the Head Start Act (42 U.S.C. 9831 et seq.) and Early Head Start programs carried out under section 645A of such Act, preschool programs, and child care programs, to facilitate the coordination of services for eligible families. (G) How the lead State agency will provide training and technical assistance to staff of programs of early childhood home visitation involved in activities under this section to more effectively meet the needs of the eligible families served. (H) How the lead State agency will evaluate the activities supported under this section in order to demonstrate outcomes related to the enhancement of-- (i) parent knowledge of early learning and development; (ii) positive parenting practices related to early learning and development; and (iii) children's cognitive, language, social-emotional, and physical development. (I) Such other information as the Secretary may require. (d) Approval of Applications.-- (1) In general.--The Secretary shall approve an application under this section based on the quality of the application and the recommendations of a peer review panel, as described in paragraph (2). (2) Peer review panel.--The peer review panel shall include not less than-- (A) 3 individuals who are experts in the field of home visitation; (B) 2 individuals who are experts in early childhood development; and (C) 1 individual with experience implementing a statewide program of early childhood home visitation. (e) Duration of Grants.--Grants made under this section shall be for a period of no more than 3 years. (f) State Uses of Funds.--Each State that receives a grant under this section shall-- (1) provide to eligible families voluntary early childhood home visitation, on not less frequently than a monthly basis with greater frequency of services for those eligible families identified with additional needs, through the implementation of Parents as Teachers programs, or other programs of early childhood home visitation, that provides parents with-- (A) knowledge of age appropriate child development in cognitive, language, social-emotional, and motor domains; (B) knowledge of realistic expectations of age- appropriate child behaviors; (C) knowledge of health and wellness issues for children and parents; (D) modeling, consulting, and coaching on parenting practices; (E) skills to interact with their child to enhance age-appropriate development; (F) skills to recognize and seek help for health issues and developmental delays; and (G) activities designed to help parents become full partners in the education of their children; (2) offer annual health, vision, hearing, and developmental screening for children from birth until entry into kindergarten; (3) provide referrals for eligible families, as needed, to additional resources available in the community, such as center-based early education programs, child care services, health or mental health services, family literacy programs, employment agencies, and social services; (4) offer group meetings, on not less frequently than a monthly basis, for eligible families that-- (A) further enhance the information, activities, and skill-building addressed during home visitation; and (B) offer opportunities for parents to meet with and support each other; (5) reserve 10 percent of the grant funds to provide training and technical assistance, directly or through contract, to early childhood home visitation and early childhood care and education staff relating to-- (A) effective methods of conducting parent education, home visiting, and promoting quality early childhood development; (B) the relationship of health and well-being of pregnant women to prenatal and early childhood development; (C) early childhood development with respect to children from birth until entry into kindergarten; (D) methods to help parents promote emergent literacy in their children from birth until entry into kindergarten; (E) health, vision, hearing, and developmental screenings; (F) strategies for helping eligible families with special needs or those eligible families coping with crisis; (G) recruiting, supervising, and retaining qualified staff; (H) increasing services for underserved populations; (I) methods to help parents effectively respond to their children's needs and behaviors; and (J) implementation of ongoing program quality improvement and evaluation of activities and outcomes; (6) ensure coordination of programs of early childhood home visitation, early childhood education and care, and early intervention, through an existing or created State-level early childhood coordinating body that includes-- (A) representatives from relevant State agencies;
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