Des Moines Nonprofit Launches App to Prevent Stillbirth

Healthy Birth Day, a local nonprofit with a Count the Kicks public health campaign is holding a launch party for its new mobile Count The Kicks App. The party will begin at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates, 100 Locust St.

Healthy Birth Day was founded by five Central Iowa  women, including state senator Janet Petersen, after each of them lost daughters to stillbirth or infant death in 2003. In addition to getting Iowa’s Stillbirth Registry law enacted and creating a parent-to-parent network for  families immediately following the loss of their babies, Healthy Birth Day – which is almost completely operated by volunteers – also launched Count the Kicks. The campaign encourages women to monitor their baby’s movements in the third trimester of pregnancy. Founders modeled Count the Kicks on a campaign in Norway that reduced stillbirths. In Iowa, 234 fetal deaths were recorded in 2006. As of 2012, that number dropped to 174.

Find out more: Healthy Birth Day

Business leaders Support Investments in Early Childhood

Business leaders from 35 major firms demonstrated their support of federal early childhood investments by signing a statement published in POLITICO (Sept. 17). Signatories represent firms across key economic sectors, including Procter & Gamble, Macy’s, PNC, Ecolab, UPS, American Electric Power, and Capital One. The statement says early childhood is critical to developing the workforce the nation requires to remain competitive in the global economy, stresses this is a nonpartisan issue, and calls on all parties in Congress to come together to take action. Click here to view the statement.

Better for Babies: A Study of State Infant and Toddler Child Care Policies

The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) has released a new report, Better for Babies: A Study of State Infant and Toddler ChildCare Policies, presenting data from a recent state survey of child care subsidy, licensing, and quality enhancement policies. It provides a national picture of infant-toddler child care and shows where state policy stands in relation to a set of key research-based policies on child care subsidy, licensing and quality improvement that support children’s healthy development.

CLASP is a national non-profit public policy organization that develops and advocates for federal, state and local policies to strengthen families and create pathways to education and work.

You can learn more about advocacy for strengthening children, youth and families on the  CLASP web site.

First Focus: Budget & Policy Decisions

First Focus, a bipartisan advocacy organization dedicated to making children and families the priority in federal policy and budget decisions, recently compiled a list of budget and policy decisions that affect children. Children’s Budget 2013 found that federal investments in children have been down three years in a row. The in-depth analysis found that less than 8 percent of the United States’ federal budget is invested in children and that since 2010, total spending on children has dropped by nearly $55 billion. According to First Focus, The House’s 2014 budget is already slated to scale back on issues that greatly affect children. More here.

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