Building a business
Check plumbing before winter sets in
Having clean running water is essential in an early childhood program for sanitation, drinking, and cooking. A freeze in winter can crack pipes, spew water inside or outside your building, and create ill will with parents.
Taking steps to prevent a water break can avert a disaster. Some suggestions:
Identify the valve where your building’s plumbing receives water from the municipal water supply line. Usually it’s at the edge of the property near the street. You need to know where it is in case of a busted pipe.
Survey water faucets outdoors. Make sure you know where they are so you can shut off water and drain pipes on the nights a freeze is forecast. Disconnect water hoses and bring them inside as cold weather approaches. Invest in foam covers for hose bibs (about $3 each) so you can cover them in case of a freeze.
Identify places indoors where water pipes enter through an outside wall, such as kitchen and restrooms. Seal around pipes with caulk.
Plan what you might do if a freeze is forecast. For example, you might open cabinet doors under sinks to let warm air inside and leave faucets dripping to relieve the pressure that can build up if pipes freeze.
Not feeling like a plumber? Ask parents and teachers for recommendations for one you might hire. Choose one who is licensed and bonded or insured. Get a cost estimate. A relationship with a trusted plumber is invaluable should you need repairs.
Good News from KIDS COUNT Data Book
The annual report on child well-being in the United States, produced by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, shows several encouraging trends since 2010:
More parents are financially stable and living without burdensome housing costs.
More teens are graduating from high school and delaying parenthood.
Access to children’s health insurance has increased.
But the news is not all good.
The risk of babies being born at a low birth weight continues to rise.
12% of children across the country are still growing up in areas of concentrated poverty.
Racial inequities remain persistent.
You can read or download the entire 70-page data book at www.aecf.org/resources/2019-kids-count-data-book/. You can also download the data profile of your state as compared to the U.S. profile.
Encourage voter registration—for the community good
Community involvement is good for business. Many Americans regard efforts in working for the community good as part of the social responsibility of business.
One important and timely community activity is encouraging voter registration and voting. The goal is not to promote a political party or candidate but rather to remind people of their duty in a democracy.
Why it’s timely
The next election occurs in November 2019. Many communities will hold elections for city or county government, school boards, and other entities. In addition, four states (Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Virginia) are holding elections for their legislatures, and two (Louisiana and Mississippi) for their governors. Check the website of Ballotopedia, a nonprofit organization that offers information about American elections, at https://ballotopedia.org for the ballots in your state.
Next year, Nov. 3, 2020, will be the nation’s next big general election. Voters will choose:
all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives,
34 of the 100 seats in the U.S. Senate,
the president of the United States,
many state governors and legislators, and
many local offices such as mayor and city council.
Before this general election, the political parties will choose their nominees in primary elections beginning in some states as early as February, only a few months away. More than two-thirds of the states allow early voting, which can take place a few days or weeks before an election. Military families, the elderly, people with disabilities, and people traveling on business or vacation at election time may apply to vote absentee. Finding out if you’re eligible and doing the necessary paperwork may take time, so it’s good to start early.
To see election dates and deadlines by state, see the website of the U.S. Vote Foundation, www.usvotefoundation.org
You must register first
In every state—except North Dakota—voters must register to vote. Registration was introduced in the mid-1800s as a more efficient and accurate way of identifying eligible voters than simply having voters show up at a polling place.
Today, to register, a person must be a U.S. citizen and 18 years old on Election Day. Some states allow pre-registration as early as age 16. Rules differ in every state. To find out how to register, visit https://vote.gov, a U.S. federal government website.
You can register to vote in person at your state or local election office. (Find yours at www.usa.gov/election-office) You can also watch for voter registration drives hosted in your community by a business or organization.
Alternatively, you may be able to register electronically:
Download and print the National Mail Voter Registration form from the website of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission at https://www.eac.gov/voters/resourcesforvoters/. Follow the instructions for your state in filling out and mailing the form.
Go online if you live in one of the 38 states (plus the District of Columbia) that offers online registration. Check your state on the website of the National Conference of State Legislatures, www.ncsl.org
The deadline for registering could be as much as a month before an election. In Texas, for example, citizens wishing to vote in the primary runoff election on Tuesday, March 3, 2020, must be registered by Monday, Feb. 3, 2020.
Already registered? Verify
Your registration must be up-to-date. If you have changed your name (by marriage, for example) or if you have moved, you must change your registration by the registration deadline in your state. If you have registered recently and have not received a new voter registration card in the mail, check with your state or local election office.
You don’t need to bring your voter registration card to the polling place to vote. Registration simply puts you into the system. To find out the voter identification requirements in your state, see the website of the National Conference of State Legislatures at www.ncsl.org
What you can do
As an early childhood program, you can help encourage voter registration in many ways:
Register to vote yourself, or verify that you are registered.
Contact your local election office to learn when and where voter registration drives are occurring in the community.
Inform staff, parents, and neighbors about voter registration opportunities and deadlines.
Invite a volunteer from the local election office to explain voter registration at an upcoming staff meeting.
Call attention to National Voter Registration Day Sept. 24, 2019.