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] ...


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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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