During the 2013 legislative session, lawmakers in 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico introduced nearly 700 bills on the topic of early care and education. Of those, 174 became law in 38 states and Puerto Rico.
Legislation to address the quality of child care, including basic health and safety, continued to play a prominent theme in state legislatures; 25 states and Puerto Rico enacted more than 60 bills. Legislation to address various aspects of state child care assistance policy was also enacted in California, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Texas and Washington among others.
Bills to promote school readiness through state prekindergarten programs and early literacy development were enacted in Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio and Oregon. Lawmakers in 14 states and Puerto Rico also passed 28 bills to continue states’ efforts to build effective and coordinated early childhood governance through new entities, task forces and workgroups. Twenty-three new laws were enacted in 15 states to support quality home visiting and expand birth-to-3 services, including comprehensive bills in Arkansas, Kentucky, New Mexico, Texas and Vermont to develop home visiting standards.
In addition, lawmakers enacted comprehensive bills or bill packages to address multiple aspects of state early care and education policy, including longitudinal student data systems, the early childhood workforce, appropriations and innovative financing for programs and services.
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