Promoting the Development of Dual Language Learners
By Linda K. Smith, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Early Childhood Development and Libby Doggett, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Early Learning
A growing number of children in the United States go to kindergarten with the advantage of knowing a language other than or in addition to English. Bilingualism is an asset in school, life, and the workplaces of today and tomorrow. As a result, it’s so important that our nation’s early learning programs support all children, including those who are dual language learners.
Earlier this month, the White House announced a new Federal policy statement Visit disclaimer page from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Education to promote the development and learning of young children, birth to age five, who are dual language learners. For more information, read the blog on dual language learners.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Education - Policy Statement On Supporting The Development Of Children Who Are Dual Language Learners In Early Childhood Programs .
- The White House - Fact Sheet: Supporting Dual Language Learners in Early Learning Settings Visit disclaimer page Visit disclaimer page
- Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center - Dual Language Learner Toolkit Visit disclaimer page
- University of Washington’s Institute for Learning and Brain Science – Research Brief: Bilingual Language Learning in Children Visit disclaimer page
Cooling Assistance to Reduce Heat Stress
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), extreme heat events are a leading cause of extreme weather-related deaths in the United States. Approximately 7,415 people died due to exposure to excessive natural heat from 1999 to 2010, an average of about 618 deaths a year.
It is particularly sad, because heat-related deaths and illness are mostly preventable. The Administration for Children and Families is one of the many Federal agencies working to help communities prepare for high temperatures this summer. Read the blog about cooling assistance to learn more.
Welcoming New Americans
ACF Regional Administrator Bob Garcia served as the guest speaker at a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services citizenship ceremony in Oakland, California on June 7th. Over 1,000 people from 95 countries proudly took the oath of citizenship and became new Americans. Hundreds of family and friends supported their loved ones during the emotion filled ceremony. Several regional office staff and Regional Administrator Garcia’s daughter, Allison, also attended. Garcia focused his remarks on the importance of family which was passed from his great-grandparents down to his own daughters. He encouraged the new citizens to cherish their own families and remain connected with loved ones near and far.
We are pleased to share with you, ACF’s new series of internal blogs featuring Latino employees at ACF: “Hispanic Spotlight.” We know that a robust Hispanic representation among ACF staff enhances cultural awareness and competency within the agency, and increases our capacity to provide effective outreach and leadership for the delivery of quality human services. ACF is committed to hiring more people from diverse backgrounds.
“In December 2015, I had the privilege to begin working in ACF’s Office of Communications. I currently serve as the Special Assistant to Deputy Assistant Secretary for External Affairs Marrianne McMullen. In this role, I provide strategic communications guidance and leadership on projects between the Office of Communications and the Office of Regional Operations on such topics as the Affordable Care Act, our unaccompanied minors program, Head Start and other high priority projects.
“As a first generation immigrant from Mexico who did not speak a word of English, I never dreamed that I could be working in the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families (ACF) as a presidential appointee. I am proud of the work we have done at ACF in Hispanic outreach and media.
“One example is being able to place our health officials on national Hispanic media outlets in English and Spanish. I prepared ACF’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Maria Cancian for a national interview on the Spanish language network Telemundo reaching the Hispanic community to discuss how ACF is helping unaccompanied children who are fleeing from violence and crossing the border from Central American countries. Our Director of Head Start Dr. Blanca Enriquez was media trained and interviewed on FOX News Latino to talk about her successes as a Latina from humble beginnings who now leads Head Start programs around the country.
“I was proactive in reaching out to Spanish language outlets such as La Opinion, EFE, and Telemundo.com that are now covering ACF issues on unaccompanied children. I am proud of conducting Twitter chats with our program offices on such topics as children and nutrition, healthy eating habits, and the Affordable Care Act. I’m also the publisher of Infórmate and Currents newsletters. Currents goes out to the territories, which includes Puerto Rico, and provides information for the community about the vital programs ACF has to offer “nuestra familia Hispana.”
If you have any suggestions or comments, or would like more information about the next Hispanic Group Meeting, email ACFHispanicInitiative@acf.hhs.gov. Get more information about ACF Hispanic Outreach.
- Office of Head Start: Find a Head Start center Visit disclaimer page in your neighborhood or call 1-866-763-6481.
- Office of Child Care: Locate quality child care Visit disclaimer page Visit disclaimer page and child care resources in your community or call 1-800-424-2246.
- Office of Child Support Enforcement: Need child support assistance?
- Office of Community Services: Need help with heating/cooling your home?
- Office of Family Assistance: Looking for financial assistance for your family?
- Children's Bureau: Report child abuse. Call 1-800-422-4453.
- Family Violence Prevention and Services Program: Victims of domestic violence can access help. Call 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233).
- Anti-Human Trafficking: Report a victim or seek help. Call 1-888-373-7888 or text BeFree to 233733.
- Runaway and Homeless Youth Program: Provide shelter to youth in need of help. Call 1-800-RUNAWAY.
ACF programs have a variety of funding opportunities available to support social service programming at the state, local and tribal levels. Our grantees include:
- Nonprofit Organizations
- For-profit Organizations
- Educational Organizations
- Public Housing Groups
ACF funds an array of activities that support the economic and social well-being of people throughout the country. See below for funding opportunities available today.
The following opportunities are scheduled to be funded by ACF for fiscal year 2016. Review the full forecast and sign up for updates if you are considered eligible for funding.
Program Office: Children's Bureau
Funding Opportunity Title: Quality Improvement Center on Child Welfare Involved Children and Families Experiencing Domestic Violence Visit disclaimer page
Funding Opportunity Number: HHS-2016-ACF-ACYF-CA-1184
Estimated Opportunity Post Date: 5-23-16
Estimated Application Due Date: 7-22-16
Program Office: Children's Bureau
Funding Opportunity Title: Standing Announcement for Tribal Title IV-E Plan Development Grants Visit disclaimer page
Funding Opportunity Number: HHS-2016-ACF-ACYF-CS-1176
Estimated Opportunity Post Date: 04-29-2016
Estimated Application Due Date: 07-28-2016
Interested in Working with ACF?
ACF is working hard to increase diversity within its workforce and to enhance the cultural competency of the agency, its employees and its contractors. One sure way to reach its goal is to hire more people from diverse backgrounds. Please visit www.usajobs.gov Visit disclaimer page and search for vacancies in the Administration for Children and Families within the Department of Health and Human Services. Keep up to date on recent federal job openings by following the U.S. Office of Personnel Management's job site on social media: Facebook Visit disclaimer page , Twitter Visit disclaimer page , and YouTube Visit disclaimer page .
ACF Job Openings (partial list, for complete list visit usajobs.gov):
- Child Care Program Specialist; Office of Child Care; GS-15; Salary: $63,344.00 to $98,702.00; Location: Seattle, WA.; Deadline: Monday, July 18, 2016. Apply here: U.S. Citizens. Visit disclaimer page
- Program Specialist; Office of Head Start; GS-11/12; Salary: $62,712.00 to $101,269.00; Locations: Denver, CO; Chicago, IL; Dallas, TX; Deadline: Wednesday, July 20, 2016. Apply here: U.S. Citizens Visit disclaimer page .
HHS Job Openings. Apply here:
- HHS USAJOBS open to the public (worldwide) Visit disclaimer page Visit disclaimer page
- HHS USAJOBS open to the public (United States) Visit disclaimer page Visit disclaimer page
Are you a Federal Employee with Status? Apply here:
- HHS USAJOBS (worldwide) Visit disclaimer page Visit disclaimer page
- HHS USAJOBS (United States) Visit disclaimer page Visit disclaimer page
Are You a Student or Recent Graduate Who Wants to Work in the White House?
- White House Fellow Visit disclaimer page Visit disclaimer page
- White House Internship Visit disclaimer page Visit disclaimer page
Interested in Student or Summer Internships in the Federal Government?