Monday morning coffee break

Good morning! Is it still morning? Barely. I just had my coffee--now I'm ready to blog. 

This weekend, volunteers and staff at DCPS fanned out across the city to reach parents of incoming preschoolers. Chancellor Rhee called for the unprecedented door-knocking campaign to reach the parents of these youngest pupils to ensure they have all their immunizations and health forms filled out. This is the first year that DCPS is doing a Early Childhood Transition Week for 3- and 4-year-olds. 

For the first week, Aug. 23-27, students enrolled in preschool (3-year-olds) and Pre-K (4-year-olds) will report to their classroom for three full days based on the first letter of their last name to help facilitate a successful transition to school, and ensure that all the children receive health and developmental screenings. During transition week, parents will also have to set up meetings with their child's teacher to discuss goals and expectations for the year and to build a strong bond between family and the classroom. 

WAMU reporter Jessica Gould tagged along with DCPS officials for a story that aired on today's "Morning Edition." 

Also on "Morning Edition," a story on a new public service ad campaign paid for by the city's health department to combat a leading cause of infant deaths--unsafe sleep habits. The campaign aims to reach mothers with the message that they should always put their babies to sleep alone, on their backs in their crib--"no exceptions." We've blogged about rising infant mortality in the District and will soon have some more perspective on this issue from our partners at Mary's Center and the D.C. Campaign to Prevent Teenage Pregnancy.

In the meantime, what do you think it will take to stem this tragic trend?

The New York Times had an interesting story over the weekend looking at family- or home-based child care. The premise is that government subsidies that pay for home-based care create a double standard by valuing child care as paid work only if it is not provided by the child's parents. 

Over at MSNBC, they have a feature on the so-called "Mommy Track," about how working moms are reshaping their career ladders to spend more time raising their young children. Flextime, family leave and job shares are making it easier for some women to do double duty at home and at work, without compromising their career goals. These stories crop up at least once a year, which leads me to believe that it is in fact a trend. But does it square with your experience? How have you been able to balance work and family? Which policies does your employer provide to make it easier?