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Changes in the Policy and Advocacy Landscape

by A Conversation with Helen Blank by Eric Karolak
July/August 2011
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/changes-in-the-policy-and-advocacy-landscape/5020032/

The first issues of Exchange arrived in Spring 1978, and as it turned out, during a thaw in Federal child care policymaking.

The groundbreaking Head Start program had launched as part of the Great Society initiative of the Johnson Administration in the mid-1960s, but as the 1970s broke, early childhood education was dealt a blow on the Federal front that would take a decade or more to overcome.

In 1971, President Nixon vetoed groundbreaking child care legislation, saying that it “would commit the vast moral authority of the national Government to the side of communal approaches to child rearing over against the family-centered approach.”1 That veto cast a long shadow over the 1970s, and Exchange appeared just as advocates were beginning to move the issue of early childhood back into the national spotlight.

Before the “Policy Matters” column appeared in Exchange in 2008, Helen Blank wrote a similar column for Exchange in the 1980s that focused on developments in Washington. As Director of Leadership and Public Policy at the National Women’s Law Center, and before that at the Children’s Defense Fund, she’s been at the center of every major funding and legislative struggle affecting child care at the Federal level for more ...

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