All of our funded campaigns must pursue policy through legislation, regulation, executive order, or ballot initiative but not through voluntary or programmatic success. These are public policy goals; therefore, public policy interventions are necessary. If you are selected to submit a full application, you will receive further instructions defining what we have determined are the minimum standards for our policy goals.
Early Care and Education
Early Care and Education Standards
We fund campaigns that create or update the childcare licensing structure to meet specific nutrition, active play, sugary drink, and screen time standards and encourage a focus on equity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic responsiveness with family engagement approaches. Nutrition standards must be consistent with the meal patterns of the most recent version of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service standards for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Sugary drink standards must be consistent with the Healthy Eating Research Healthy Beverage Consumption in Early Childhood recommendations. Physical activity and screen time standards must be consistent with the most recent version of the YMCA’s Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) standards for Early Childhood Programs OR the Caring for Our Children (CFOC) standards as developed as part of a collaboration between the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Public Health Association, and the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education.
Funding for Early Care and Education Access
We fund campaigns that aim to secure tribal, state, or local funding to increase access to affordable and quality childcare programs for children. in low-income communities by providing better supports to childcare providers. The minimum annual appropriation must be $300,000, $500,000 or $1 million depending on the population of the state or locality based on 2020 U.S. Census and include at least one of the following priorities:
Secure funding for targeted outreach, recruitment, and retention of licensed ECE programs and pre-licensure technical assistance. Prioritize funding to build supply in rural areas, child-care deserts, areas with a high proportion of exempt providers, and family childcare homes.
Assist childcare facilities in securing funding for capital improvements which would help facilitate HEPA standard implementation.
Increase subsidy reimbursement rates for child-care providers meeting HEPA standards through licensing.
Funding for Technical Assistance & Grant Opportunities for Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) Standards in Childcare Programs
We fund campaigns that aim to establish funding at the tribal, state, or local level for dedicated technical assistance and grant opportunities for early care and education providers operating in or serving low-income communities to adopt and implement nutrition, active play, and screen time standards.
Requires state or local appropriated funding to support designated staffing of at least 1.0 FTE, program implementation, technical assistance, and monitoring.
Minimum annual appropriation of $300,000, $500,000 or $1 million depending on the population of the state or locality based on the 2020 U.S. Census.
Early Head Start/Head Start Appropriations
We fund campaigns that aim to secure tribal or state funding to support Head Start/Early Head Start programs for currently eligible children and/or children from families above current income eligibility requirements. Minimum annual appropriation of $1 million, $3 million or $5 million depending on the population of the state based on the 2020 U.S. Census.
We do not fund policy campaigns that aim to create new state/local agencies, the creation of new citizen’s committees or ‘Children’s Cabinets.’ We also do not fund campaigns that aim to require only from-scratch cooking/non-packaged food or vegetarian/vegan only food in the childcare environment.
Paid Family Leave
Voices for Healthy Kids is developing policy goals for Paid Family Leave. Potential policies should include ensuring employees have access to paid family leave programs that provide sufficient paid time off to new parents to support the health and wellbeing of families. We had hoped to add paid family leave to the Voices for Healthy Kids policy agenda this year, but our rigorous policy review process is taking longer than expected. Thank you for your interest, and please keep a lookout for our next round of funding where we hope to be ready to fund campaigns in Paid Family Leave.
Voices for Healthy Kids funds campaigns that support efforts to protect health and well-being and build healthy, equitable communities by promoting and defending local government power. “Preemption” refers to policies that stop or limit lower forms of governments like cities and counties from enacting local policies like tobacco, nutrition and health regulations. We fund two state-level policy opportunities:
(1) Support the repeal of existing state laws limiting the ability of cities and counties to regulate, tax or otherwise enact laws stronger than state law related to building healthy, equitable communities,
(2) Oppose new legislation or policies limiting the ability of cities and counties to regulate, tax or otherwise enact laws stronger than state law related to building healthy, equitable communities.
School Food Dietary Quality
Voices for Healthy Kids funds campaigns that aim to pass policy at the state, community, or school-district level that implement, at minimum, the beverage, snack, and meal guidelines as intended by the 2012 school meals and 2016 competitive foods final rules, while ensuring that the nutrition standards are aligned with the most current Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
We do not fund campaigns that concern capital infrastructure appropriations (i.e. kitchen equipment), purchasing agreements, packaging, from-scratch cooking requirements or vegetarian/vegan only policies.
Healthy School Meals for All
Voices for Healthy Kids funds campaigns that support statewide expansion of healthy school meals for all through maximizing participation in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) or other universal meal options by prioritizing expansion at the local level for school districts with the greatest need.
Sugary Drink Tax and Investment
Voices for Healthy Kids funds community-centered campaigns that work with policy makers at the tribal, state and local level to adopt excise taxes on sugary drinks to reduce consumption and raise revenue for communities that are most burdened by health inequity. Communities must be engaged as full partners in the decision to pursue a tax and with each of the tax policy process steps – tax design, adoption, implementation, and revenue allocation.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Access
Voices for Healthy Kids funds state campaigns that support policies to maximize SNAP participation for eligible households and help those who qualify get their benefits. There are two options: (1) encourage eligible states to adopt broad-based categorical eligibility (BBCE) and (2) pursue additional policies to support SNAP access as detailed in the USDA SNAP State Options report.
We do not fund project work, direct incentives to participants or farmers markets or any non-binding policy efforts.
SNAP Incentives and Produce Prescription Programs
Voices for Healthy Kids funds policy campaigns at the tribal, state and local level that increase participant access to fresh fruits and vegetables. We fund campaigns that seek to secure government funds for SNAP incentives and produce prescriptions programs. Funds can be used to establish or expand dollar-for-dollar match programs, purchase technology, support staffing and/or promote participation.
We do not fund non-binding policy or incremental change such as seeking of USDA waivers or other systems changes that are administrative only or otherwise not sustainable.
Water Access in Schools
Voices for Healthy Kids funds campaigns that help enact policies at the state, local, or school-district level to increase access to drinking water in schools, encourage water consumption throughout the school day and during school-based activities. We fund campaigns at the state level that help enact policies that ensure all newly constructed schools and schools undergoing major renovations have water bottle filling stations. We also fund appropriations policy campaigns that support water bottle filling station installations, prioritizing Tier 1 and high-needs schools first.
We do not fund policy campaigns that concern water quality testing, ppm requirements, infrastructure/water pipeline replacement, or environmental mitigation.