Governor Wolf Introduces “Ready to Start” Task Force to Focus on Needs of Youngest Pennsylvanians September 27, 2018 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Education, Human Services, Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today announced the creation of a “Ready to Start” task force focused on informing the strategy to address health, human services, and education policy for infants and toddlers ages zero to three.“The Ready to Start Task Force complements my administration’s robust agenda for all children, which includes access to high-quality pre-K through 12 education and access to health and human services programs and supports,” Governor Wolf said. “Ready to Start rounds out this agenda with a focus on our youngest Pennsylvanians.“The environment in which babies live and learn in their first three years has an enormous impact on their cognitive, social, and emotional development. The task force’s goal is to identify programs and policies to help infants and children age zero to three get a strong, focused beginning toward a healthy, happy, fulfilling life here in the commonwealth.”The Ready to Start Task Force will identify key themes and options informed by stakeholder engagement and analysis of current programming to inform future policy recommendations and an implementation plan with emphasis on three guiding principles:Improving health outcomes of infants, toddlers, and their families;Strengthening the home environment for infants, toddlers, and their families; andPreparing infants and toddlers for future school success.Following the creation and successful outcomes of Gov. Wolf’s Middle Class and School Safety task forces, which used a similar approach to engagement through regional listening sessions, the Ready to Start Task Force will host six sessions across Pennsylvania in October and November.The intention of the listening sessions led by professionals with a focus on early learning and child development is to gather information and insight and to look at current and possible strategies to help the youngest Pennsylvanians.The governor appointed six co-chairs to lead the Ready to Start Task Force: Janet Haas, M.D., Chair of the William Penn Foundation Board of Directors, representing philanthropic and business entities; Jodi Askins, Director of PennAEYC, representing advocates and providers; David Rubin, MD, MSCE, Director of Population Health Innovation and PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, representing health and research; Maureen Cronin, Executive Director of The Arc of Pennsylvania, representing children with disabilities and their families; Dr. Valerie Kinloch, Dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Education, representing child development and education; and Nyanda Finley De Santos, parent and Director of Family and Community Engagement at Community Services for Children’s Head Start Program, representing parents and community partners.“Focusing on children’s development in their earliest years is one of the most powerful ways to improve the course of their lives,” said Dr. Janet Haas. “Brain development begins before birth, and children need high-quality care and positive engagement with adults to foster healthy development. The multi-year agenda this task force will develop is critical for expanding supports that provide all children a strong start to enter school healthy and ready to learn.”“PennAEYC is excited to support the governor in this effort focusing on infants and toddlers,” Jodi Askins said. “The earliest years are all about relationships. Infants and toddlers crave and develop attachments to the special people in their lives. If we can help our communities set an agenda and strategy to support those special people with thoughtful policies that strengthen systems, we can make a lasting impact for Pennsylvania’s youngest citizens”“We have strong research showing that the support families receive during early childhood can lay the foundation for a child’s future health outcomes and success in adulthood,” said Dr. David Rubin. “I’m proud that our state is prioritizing developing an action plan to improve the health of Pennsylvania’s youngest residents, and I look forward to working with my fellow co-chairs to see it through.”“The birth to three period, with the fastest rate of brain development, is an especially critical time of development for infants and toddlers with developmental delays and disabilities,” Maureen Cronin said. “The Arc of Pennsylvania applauds the governor for recognizing how much early social emotional development and physical health provide a foundation that can change a child’s developmental trajectory and improve outcomes for children, families, and communities.”“I am excited to participate in this task force and to collaborate with others to move forward impactful work that addresses education, health, and human services in the commonwealth,” Dr. Valerie Kinloch said. “It will be critically important for this work to result in improved health outcomes, increased educational opportunities, and more networked forms of community engagement for our infants, toddlers, and families.”“Infants and toddlers are among the most vulnerable members of our society, yet the resources available to support parents and caregivers of young children are often inadequate to ensure their needs are properly met,” Nyanda Finley de Santos said. “Pennsylvania’s Ready to Start Task Force provides an opportunity for the voices of key stakeholders, moms, dads, early care providers, and other members of the community, to be heard and to inform policy that will directly impact our young children and ensure future outcomes that are comprehensive, equitable, and of the highest quality – outcomes all families in Pennsylvania deserve.”Representing the Wolf Administration on the commission are Secretary of Human Services Teresa Miller, Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine, Deputy Secretary of the Office of Child Development and Early Learning Suzann Morris, and Deputy Secretary for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Dr. Loren Robinson.The Ready to Start Task Force builds on the significant progress that has been made under Governor Wolf’s leadership to advance education, health care, and human services programs that support Pennsylvania’s children, families, and communities.Since 2015, the Wolf Administration has established numerous policy initiatives to improve the lives of Pennsylvania’s children regardless of where they live or their family circumstances:Human Services to Create a Healthy Home EnvironmentThis year, 15,000 children will receive home-visiting services and other evidence-based supports through Pennsylvania’s Community-Based Family Centers and Nurse-Family Partnership programs.Gov. Wolf’s 2018-19 budget included a $5.3 million increase for community-based family centers, including $4.5 million to provide home-visiting services for families affected by opioid use disorder, along with increased funding for home-visiting providers and Nurse-Family Partnership programs.These programs have a family-centered focus and strength-based approach that works with both the child and parent beginning as early as when a new baby is brought home from the hospital.Studies of various home-visiting programs have shown positive impacts on children’s cognitive development and behavior, higher grade point averages and achievement scores at age 9, and higher graduation rates from high school.Health Care from Day 1Research shows that supporting the well-being of children through nutrition and health care supports, positive caregiver relationships, and high-quality early learning opportunities in the first three years of life sets them up for lifelong success. And children who receive high-quality early learning and care perform better in school, graduate at higher rates, and earn more throughout their lives compared to their peers.Governor Wolf’s support and promotion of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) helped increase enrollment to provide this vital service to more than 180,000 children in Pennsylvania. The program provides health insurance to uninsured children and teens up to age 19 who are not eligible for or enrolled in Medicaid. CHIP is available for families whose income is above 133 percent of the poverty level.High-Quality Early LearningOver the course of his tenure, the Governor has worked with the General Assembly to increase investments in public education at all levels by $1 billion, from early childhood to K-12 to postsecondary – including expanding state-funded preschool programs by $115 million.These investments and efforts have yielded significant outcomes for Pennsylvania’s children and families, including increasing the number of children able to attend pre-kindergarten by 60 percent, adding more than 9,600 slots in Pre-K Counts and an additional 1,300 in the Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program (HSSAP).Increased funding in the 2018-19 budget for early intervention (birth to age 3) will help serve 39,930 infants and toddlers and their families/caregivers across Pennsylvania.The 2018-19 budget also included $6.8 million in increased funds for child care services paired with $50 million in federal funding to serve 1,100 children on the child care waiting list.In August 2017, Pennsylvania revamped its Keystone STARS child care rating system designed to improve quality in child care and early learning offerings. The governor’s 2018-19 budget included $5 million for professional development for early care and education professionals and $2 million to pilot contracting with STAR 3 and STAR 4 programs in Pennsylvania’s Pre-K Counts program to serve infants and toddlers, improving access to and continued enrollment in high-quality early learning settings by weighting subsidies that help low-income families pay for child care toward higher-rated child care offerings.The Ready to Start Task Force will share findings and options with the governor in January 2019, including a review of existing programs and initiatives.
68 Victoria St, BalmoralWhen Ruan and Kylie Burger started planning the design of their Balmoral house, the priority was to make the home as child-friendly as possible.This meant an indoor-outdoor connection, covered wet weather play areas, subtle storage options, a zoning of rooms and a range of customised safety features.Twohill and James Architects’ director, Emma James, managed the seemingly impossible task of pulling off the brief without compromising on style. 68 Victoria St, BalmoralMore from newsNew apartments released at idyllic retirement community Samford Grove Presented by Parks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus18 hours ago“We wanted zones, so the TV wasn’t in the kitchen and you could actually sit down and talk to each other,” Ms Burger said. “We can be in the kitchen and have the kids out on the grass still within eyesight.”Mr Burger said the design offered the luxury of being able to relax at home knowing Kyan and his five-year-old sister Minka were safe and secure playing anywhere on the property.“We built a home we were going to live in for a quite a long time,” he said.A retractable, perforated metal screen hides the majority of the kitchen which includes Ilve cookware, cabinetry with Buster + Punch imported brushed brass hardware, and Brodware black tapware. 68 Victoria St, Balmoral“When we sat down with Emma that first day and looked at the concept plans, I got goosebumps and my heart started racing because it just felt so right for us,” Ms Burger said.“This has been the happiest home because it was so easy to live in with the kids and enjoy that time.”Bespoke elements cater to the needs of the couple’s eight-year-old son, Kyan, whose genetic condition presents physical and mental challenges. 68 Victoria St, Balmoral“The screen slides across the cooktop so if a pot is simmering away I can close it off making it safe, but I love the look of it too,” Ms Burger said.“Design is a massive part for me and I often choose aesthetic over practicality but here it was a really fun challenge to try to find that balance.”Ms Burger was responsible for the entire fit-out of the multistorey brick, timber and iron residence.“This is my dream house with the views that we wanted,” she said. “I did go all out with the likes of importing tiles from Beverly Hills – handmade and only available from one store over there.’’ 68 Victoria St, BalmoralIt has impressive views of the CBD skyline to the Gateway Bridge and a private rooftop terrace. There is a heated swimming pool and covered barbecue area and all four bedrooms are on the top floor, including a master bedroom with a ensuite, walk-in wardrobe and separate bathtub.
The No. 9 USC women’s swimming and diving team will fly to Purdue, Ind., on Monday to compete in the NCAA championship meet.After the team’s breakthrough performance two weeks ago at the Pac-10 championships, where the Women of Troy placed third overall, a more refined women’s team will be looking to turn heads not just in its conference but all across the nation.“We have a very strong team going into NCAAs and we’re aiming for top five,” co-captain senior Dina Hegazy said. “And the team is very excited and motivated to reach that goal.”The hand-picked NCAA team will consist of returning All-Americans Hegazy, juniors Presley Bard, Lyndsay DePaul and Ellie Doran, sophomores Katinka Hosszu, Tanya Krisman and sophomore diver Victoria Ishimatsu. USC will also be sending freshmen Haley Anderson, Yumi So, Jessica Schmitt, Christel Simms, Kate Shumway and Ariel Rittenhouse.This means the Women of Troy will be represented by one more swimmer and diver than they had in 2009, an outstanding performance considering last year’s NCAA team had four members who graduated.The backstroke and freestyle events have a strong team this year, with veteran Hegazy and young additions incuding Shumway and Simms. But overall these events will mainly be dominated by Bard. The junior will be looking to improve on her already stellar results at the Pac-10 championships, where she broke two individual school records in the 50-yard freestyle (22.26) and the 200-yard backstroke (1:51.80). She also helped destroy the team’s 800-yard freestyle relay record by more than eight seconds (6:59.48). The transfer junior will be representing USC for the first time at the NCAA championship.DePaul, another junior transfer, will also be wearing cardinal and gold for the first time at the NCAA meet. After breaking several records of her own at the Pac-10 championships in the 100-yard butterfly (51.86) and also doing her part in the 800-yard freestyle relay, DePaul will be a key asset in the butterfly and medley events as well as relays.The competition begins March 18 and concludes March 20.
Lampard insists Chelsea not getting overconfidentby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveFrank Lampard has warned his Chelsea about getting ahead of themselves. The Blues are sixth after Saturday’s first home win of the season against Brighton.”I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves because what we have shown so far this season is moments and patches of games with good stuff where we want to get to, and other moments where we haven’t done so,” he said. “So I think to get overconfident at this point would be wrong on my part and the team’s part.”With the young players, and some have been making their full debuts for Chelsea this season, we must give them time and we will get better. I think it was the movement of the ball. We are working a lot on trying to keep switching the play and in moving it from side to side.”Sometimes we forget that and we forget ourselves that we slow it down too much. It is something I don’t like to see. I don’t think it helps the crowd or the atmosphere when you slow it down and go back to the goalkeeper and across sideways when you can play forward.”At times when we were at our best, we play forward, we played punchier, we were sharper and that’s what made us create so many chances. I was pleased and that’s why I wanted to be really positive at half-time because it is easy to lose patience or to stop doing the right things because it is not coming off.”We were actually creating. The point was to keep doing the right things, to keep moving it quickly and believe it was going to come and it did. Every game is different, you have to consider that, but at our best I want us to have a feeling that we are a team that I like watching myself – a team that are sharp and have energy because we have that quality. It is about trying to put that all together.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Wanyama admits Tottenham exit talk made unsettled himby Freddie Taylor9 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveTottenham midfielder Victor Wanyama has admitted that he was unsettled by talk about his future this summer.The veteran defensive midfielder was linked with a move away to the club, and he almost got it through a transfer to Club Brugge.But the move fell through and Wanyama is focusing on fighting for his place in the team.And he admits the summer speculation had an impact on his focus.”Of course I was unsettled with the transfer news because it was coming in the news every day,” Wanyama told Goal.com.”What happened in the transfer window is passed me now and my main focus is to train as hard as I can to make sure I regain my position in the team.”I don’t think it is difficult to win my position back, I just need to push myself even harder and keep working hard in training to achieve the same and I know it will happen soon.”
SOUTH BEND, IN – NOVEMBER 04: The macot, cheerleaders and players forthe Notre Dame Fighting Irish run onto the field before a game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Notre Dame Stadium on November 4, 2017 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Wake Forest 48-37. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)Georgia Tech, one of the ACC favorites, went to South Bend as three point favorites over a Notre Dame team reeling from the injury to quarterback Malik Zaire, and the result was pretty shocking. The Irish wound up blowing out the Yellow Jackets, and running back C.J. Prosise put the exclamation point on things, busting a 91-yard touchdown run through the heart of the Tech defense to make the lead 30-7.CJ Prosise 91 yard run pic.twitter.com/nCPbvk9G3z— THE MAIN MANN™ (@JacobMann_1) September 19, 2015How do our guys celebrate a 198-yard, 3 TD rushing performance from CJ Prosise? Take a look: pic.twitter.com/ekdyANzYxC— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) September 19, 2015Late in the fourth quarter, Prosise has 198 yards and three touchdowns on the day. Prosise is filling in for the injured Tarean Folston, who went down in the season opener. He certainly looks the part thus far.
draymond green snowball michigan fanThursday, Nike released a new two-minute commercial dedicated to “Snow Days” which features over a dozen of the brand’s professional athletes lining up against each other on the football field. One of those athletes is former Michigan State star Draymond Green, who now plays for the Golden State Warriors.Nike also released a “Behind The Scenes” look at the commercial, and asked a few of the athletes who they’d hit with a snowball, given the chance. Green’s answer? A University of Michigan fan. Check it out:This isn’t the first time Green has expressed his dislike for the Wolverines. If you’re interested, here’s the actual commercial – it’s actually very cool.
HALIFAX – Advocates are calling on Nova Scotia to improve access to abortion services to help make the process “less painful, less emotional, and faster.”Lenore Zann, NDP critic for women’s issues, says the province’s doctor shortage creates a problem for women seeking abortions because there are fewer medical professionals to do ultrasounds or prescribe Mifegymiso, better known as the abortion pill.“We need more doctors, especially gynecologists and people that can help women with their own specific health issues,” she said Monday, noting that more doctors specializing in women’s health could help make patients feel more comfortable and cared for.“Abortion issues, and many different women’s issues with their health, are very personal and can also get very emotional.”As of Sept. 1, the waiting list for a family doctor tops 56,000.This comes days after The Globe and Mail’s Atlantic bureau chief published an account of her experience hitting multiple roadblocks while trying to get an abortion in Nova Scotia, before eventually flying to Toronto for the procedure.Zann said hearing stories like hers highlights the need for faster access to abortion services, especially since the nature of the procedure is so time-sensitive.“This is not okay in this day and age for a modern public,” she said. “Women in particular need to be treated with tender, loving care, especially when it comes to these issues around their body.”In Nova Scotia, patients can have a medical abortion using pills up to nine weeks pregnant while surgical abortions can be obtained up to 15 weeks pregnant.Health department spokeswoman Tracy Barron said in an email that three regional hospitals offer abortion services in addition to the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax, which handles 80 per cent of abortions in the province. There are no free-standing clinics in Nova Scotia that provide abortions.“Abortion services are consolidated to ensure a level of expertise is maintained by physicians and staff in providing these services,” said Barron, adding that physicians and nurse practitioners are able to prescribe Mifegymiso and the department has recorded 62 different prescribers to date.Frederique Chabot, director of health promotion with Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights, said a lack of places that provide abortion services means women, especially in rural areas, would sometimes need to travel for hours to access this service — with some paying out of pocket in travel costs, childcare, and lost wages for time taken off work.“There are such huge, missing pieces in terms of truly effecting change in access to a full package of reproductive health services,” she said.The province has recently improved access to abortion services, including funding the abortion pill in November 2017 and giving Nova Scotians the option to self-refer for an abortion earlier this year.But Chabot said these announcements are little more than “lip service” if the government doesn’t follow up with concrete steps to help women access these resources.“If there was no real inquiry with people who need those services, who have accessed them, who have experienced the barriers to those services, to truly understand what needs to happen … then we’re not making a huge dent in terms of accessibility,” she said.Bridgewater-based obstetrician and gynecologist Robyn MacQuarrie said Monday that navigating the health care system can be a challenge for women and more doctors are needed to expand service coverage.But she said in her experience, abortion access in Nova Scotia is on par with other Canadian provinces.She said patients may have to wait for services because doctors need to ensure they are doing their jobs as responsibly as possible, adding that a patient once got annoyed with her for not prescribing her Mifegymiso without meeting with her first.“It is not an antibiotic,” said MacQuarrie. “It’s a medication that needs to be used carefully, so we make sure people meet the eligibility criteria, that all the careful steps are being taken to make sure we’re taking safe care of women, not increasing their risk.”She noted that the majority of the abortions she deals with are medical, not surgical.Shannon Hardy, founder and co-ordinator of Abortion Support Services Atlantic, said she believes more health professionals should prescribe Mifegymiso, but she said a bigger problem for her is a lack of education and understanding about abortion.While she’s pleased the province recently implemented a self-referral line, she believes people need to become more comfortable discussing abortion and treating it as a fact of life instead of a taboo subject.“It needs to be known that abortion is health care and it’s not some dirty little secret,” she said.“If people don’t have access to health care, then we don’t have universal health care.”