By Alison May

Most likely you have, at one point or another, heard a colleague mention pre-K, child care or even brain development as it relates to children. These are all important topics along with a handful of others that relate to babies, children and youth ranging in age from prenatal through the early school years.

Maybe you are steeped in this arena or new to it. Or perhaps you want a quick scan of the hot topics related to early learning.

Whichever category you fall into, taking a few moments out of your day and visiting the recently updated Early Childhood 101 page complied by NCSL Children and Families staff promises to be worthwhile.

Did you know that emerging science shows how critical the early years are for brain development and with children’s future success? Did you know that 41 states and the District of Columbia currently provide a total of $5.3 billion in state funding for pre-K programs? How about the Two Generation approach? Have you heard that this approach includes components of early childhood education, job training/post secondary education, and wrap-around family support services?  

State innovation and funding has boosted high-quality early childhood education and the federal government, including the President, has recognized the importance and provided recent investment supports too. State lawmakers are at the forefront of expanding investments in prekindergarten programs, supporting state child care quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS), strengthening the effectiveness and accountability of home visiting programs as well as developing governance structures to better coordinate programs that serve young children.

Take a few moments and brush up on these hot and emerging topics.   

Alison May is a staff coordinator in NCSL’s Children and Families program. Email Allison.

Posted in: NCSL, Public Policy
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This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.


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