Special Initiatives

  • Increasing Early Care and Education (ECE) Services for Homeless Children: Whether you are in a Head Start or early childhood program, or work at the state level on early childhood systems and services, providing ECE services to homeless children is especially urgent when considering the vulnerability of young children experiencing homelessness. ACF offers resources to assist you in ensuring that these young children are prioritized for services that support their learning and development.
  • Look Before You Lock Campaign: The Office of Early Childhood Development (ECD) partners with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on a national campaign to prevent child heatstroke death, injury and trauma after being left unsupervised in cars, vans or school buses. The campaign reminds bus drivers and monitors, teachers, parents and caregivers to acknowledge it can happen to them and ask themselves, “Look before you lock.”
  • Early Childhood-Child Welfare Partnerships: Early Childhood-Child Welfare (ECCW) partnerships envision increased collaboration among child welfare and early childhood systems to support and amplify positive outcomes for children prenatal to eight and their families.
  • Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP): ECD worked closely with the Food and Nutrition Service of the USDA to reissue policy guidance regarding the participation of tribal child care programs in the CACFP. The updated memo, originally released in 1999, clarified current Program policies and removed unnecessary barriers that some tribal child care programs may currently face. View the Tribal Participation in the Child and Adult Care Food Program and the Summer Food Service Program policy memo.
  • Crib Safety: On December 28, 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) approved new mandatory standards for full-size and non-full-size baby cribs as mandated by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA). Federal crib standards had not been updated in nearly 30 years and these new rules are expected to usher in a safer generation of cribs. As of June 28, 2011, cribs manufactured, sold, or leased in the U.S. must comply with the new federal standards. These new standards directly affect the early care and education community. ACF and CPSC are working closely to assure the smoothest transition possible. For more detailed information, please access the Crib Information Center.
  • Safe Sleep for Babies: ACF has strengthened its commitment to address the public health challenges of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and Sudden Unexpected/Unexplained Infant Death (SUID) and cultivate opportunities for prevention in the United States. To that end, ACF has established and enhanced relationships among multiple Federal agencies in order to work together to improve communication and coordination, as well as collaborate on a range of activities designed to reduce and, ultimately, eliminate SIDS and SUID, including the elimination of racial, ethnic, and socio-economic disparities.
  • Department of Defense (DoD) Military Family Child Care Liaisons: The Department of Defense (DoD) Military Community & Family Policy, Office of Children and Youth has contracted with Child Care Aware to improve access to quality affordable child care for military families. They have identified dynamic State Military Child Care Liaisons to serve as subject matter expert on quality child care issues for military families. These liaisons serve as the central point of contact within 13 selected states — Alaska, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington — coordinating efforts of state and local officials, military installations and various non-governmental organizations/community partners to achieve the most effective utilization of child care resources. With assistance from HHS, the liaison will interface with the State Advisory Councils designated or established by the Governor and funded by ACF.

Related Information

Special Initiatives Legislation, Policies & Regulations

Special Initiatives Research, Reports & Resources