Children’s Defense Fund official Helen Blank will speak on the state of childcare during March 24 visit to SU
Children’s Defense Fund official Helen Blank will speak on the state of childcare during March 24 visit to SUMarch 20, 2003Kelly Homan Rodoskikahoman@syr.edu
Helen Blank, director of child care at the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), will speak on “The State of Childcare in America” during a public lecture at Syracuse University March 24 at 4:30 p.m. in Grant Auditorium. The lecture, sponsored by the College of Human Services and Health Professions, the Center for Policy Research in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and Students United for Child Advocacy, is free and open to the public.
During her visit to campus, Blank will also meet with HSHP and Maxwell students and attend a reception with HSHP and Maxwell faculty.
Blank has a long career of advocacy on behalf of children and families. She testified before a House of Representatives subcommittee last year on how child care helps families work and children learn. Within her role with the CDF, Blank works to expand support for positive early care and education experiences for children, especially low-income children. She led a large-scale effort to pass the first comprehensive federal childcare legislation and organizing the Alliance for Better Child Care. She developed a guide for the implementation of the legislation that was used widely by state policymakers and childcare leaders.
She also led a largely successful campaign to convince the Bush administration to issue regulations for the new program that will allow states to use the new federal funds in a manner that promotes the best interests of children. She also led an effort to improve the childcare provision of the welfare act and developed a guide to assist states in implementing the provisions. She has worked for nearly two decades to ensure that the Head Start program was not only expanded to serve more children, but also maintained its focus on community based, high quality, comprehensive services to children.
Blank has authored major studies on state child care policies, as well as co-authored “The Child Care Handbook,” “Give More Children a Head Start” and “Working Together for Children: Head Start and Child Care Partnerships,” and numerous articles and papers on childcare policies. She has also organized other successful coalitions to expand support for childcare.
Blank is a member of the advisory board of the National Council of the Jewish Women’s Center for the Child and the Child Care Food Program Umbrella Sponsors’ Steering Committee. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in urban planning from Hunter College of the City University of New York.
The College of Human Services and Health Professions brings together Syracuse University’s professional programs in Child and Family Studies, Marriage and Family Therapy, Nursing, Nutrition and Hospitality Management, and Social Work in an environment of cross-disciplinary teaching, research, practice and service. Through classroom learning and hands-on experience, students in the college are prepared for active and influential careers in the helping professions.