Early Care and Education 2015 Legislative Action

1/19/2016

2015 Enacted Legislation on Early Care & Education

Man reading a paper wtih the word REPORTSSession Overview

The National Conference of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) Early Care and Education Project in the Children and Families Program tracks introduced and enacted legislation related to child care, early education and parent engagement and support. During the 2015 legislative session, lawmakers introduced nearly 900 bills on the topic of early care and education. Of those, 124 bills have been signed into law in 39 states.

This report provides an overview of the significant 2015 legislative enactments in the following major topic areas: child care (subsidy, quality, and access), early childhood workforce, pre-K/ and school readiness, early childhood governance and systems, early childhood services, data strategies, home visiting and parent education, and finance strategies and appropriations. The largest number of legislative enactments occurred in the topic area of child care.

States are gearing up for the start of their 2016 legislative sessions. At time of publication 11 states have drafted and/or pre-filed 22 bills for the 2016 session. Stay tuned for bi-monthly updates on states’ 2016 legislative activity beginning after the New Year.

This document was prepared using StateNet, a legislative tracking database, to perform bill searches and analysis. Summaries provided in this document and in the 50-state, online searchable database are provided by StateNet. This document is intended to provide an overview of significant enacted legislation in each state. It does not represent a comprehensive list of all early care and education legislative enactments. 

This document does not include bills with technical changes or all state budget appropriations bills Appropriation bills are included when the bill includes policy language or funding for a specific type of program. Please note that the total number of enacted bills does not add up to what is listed here due to bills that address multiple topics and bills that are not included here.

Place your mouse over the columns for details.

2015 Early Care and Education Enacted Legislation

 
 

Enacted Legislation of Note by Category

Child Care

At least 24 states passed significant child care bills: Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia. Child care eligibility policy was addressed in five states—Kansas, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington. Nebraska LB 81 states that at redetermination of eligibility, if a family's income exceeds 140 percent of the federal poverty level the family will continue to receive transitional child care assistance for up to 24 consecutive months or until the family income exceeds 185 percent of the federal poverty level. It requires the amount of such child care assistance to be based on a cost-shared plan between the recipient family and the state and be based on a sliding-scale methodology. Washington SB 5999 creates the caseload forecast council to forecast the difference between the number of children eligible for the early education and assistance program and the number of children actually served by it. 

Kentucky, Rhode Island and Washington passed bills related to child care quality. Kentucky HB 234 requires the development of a quality-based graduated early care and education program rating system for licensed child-care and certified family child-care homes, state-funded preschool and Head Start. Rhode Island SB 1021 requests development of a proposal to create a tiered reimbursement system for licensed child care centers and family child care providers with higher rates being issued to programs recognized as higher quality. Washington HB1491 expands the Early Achievers quality rating improvement program and requires all licensed or certified child care facilities and early learning programs serving non-school age children and receiving state funds to participate in the Early Achievers program.

Numerous states enacted child care bills that addressed child care personnel background checks, health and safety standards, licensing requirements, safe sleep training and nutrition. Maine SP 541 establishes an interagency comprehensive background check program. Nevada AB 152 sets requirements for all meals and snacks provided to children by a child care facility. North Dakota HB 1247 requires early childhood service providers and the provider's staff members who are responsible for the care or teaching of children under the age of one to annually complete a department approved sudden infant death syndrome prevention training course. Utah SB 12 requires a child care provider that is exempt from licensure and certification requirements to submit information to the Department of Health for the purpose of conducting criminal history checks and requires posting a notice that the facility is licensure exempt. Virginia SB 1168 (HB 1570) requires fingerprint-based national criminal history records checks for licensed child day care centers and family day homes; requires all unlicensed, unregistered family child care homes to provide notice to parents stating that the home is not regulated and referring parents to a website for information on licensed family child care homes. Washington HB 1126 requires the Department of Early Learning to conduct a child fatality review if a child fatality occurs in an early learning program, a licensed child care center or a licensed child care home.

It is worth noting a bill passed by the New Mexico legislature but vetoed by the governor. The Child Care Assistance Accountability Act (SB 279) included measures to improve the child care assistance program including provisions to improve quality, promote school readiness and the development of outcome accountability measures to rate the effectiveness of the programs including an annual report to the legislature. The New Mexico legislature did pass HM 92 which requests a task force to study and report on the cost of full compliance with and implementation of the new Child Care and Development Block Grant reauthorization.  A summary of this bill can be found under the Governance section of this report.  

Child Care Legislation

State

Legislation

Connecticut

HB 6910: Requires licensed child care centers to provide written contact information to the state and local police department having jurisdiction where such child care center is located, and requires the police department to notify a licensee of any conditions caused by fire, criminal act, emergency or natural disaster in the vicinity of such child care center that may endanger the safety of the children.

Delaware

SB 110: Enables the Office of Child Care Licensing to issue civil money penalties for those who operate an unlicensed child care facility.

Georgia

HB 401: Requires all early care and education programs that care for children to be licensed annually, and all licenses issued may be subject to annual renewal. All employees must submit a fingerprint records check no more than 12 months old which must be kept in the employee’s personnel file.

 

If an early care and education program plans to undergo a change in ownership, then a permit may be issued to such program to facilitate such change of ownership without disruption of care. If such program complies with all licensing requirements prior to the expiration of the permit, a license to such program will be issued.

 

Requires each family child care learning home and child care learning center to obtain a separate license for each facility and have a separate director for each facility.

Illinois

HR 254: Creates the Commission to Reform Child Care in Illinois to study current local and State provisions involving child care and make recommendations to help ensure that there are simple and fair systems to provide quality child care that is affordable for families, especially those on low incomes.

 

HR 497: Urges Congress to pass legislation in support of universal child care services for working families and to provide sufficient and sustainable funding for a permanent child care program similar to the federally administered program created and implemented under the Lanham Act.

 

HR 699: Urges the Department of Human Services to rescind the new Child Care Assistance Programs guidelines and to restore the CCAP eligibility standards and guidelines and urges the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules to undertake an investigation to determine whether the Department of Human Services has complied with specified provisions.

 

SB 986: Provides that no person may be employed by a child care facility that cares for children ages 6 and under unless that person shows proof of having received the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) vaccine in addition to the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine.

Iowa

HB 347: Child care programs operated or contracted by a board are required to be licensed as a child care center unless the program is exempt. An employee of a program operated or contracted by a board is subject to a background investigation at least once every five years after the employee's initial date of hire.

Kansas

HB 2258: Requires adopting rules and regulations in determining eligibility for the child care subsidy program, including an income of a cohabiting partner in a child care household, and in determining and maintaining eligibility for non-TANF child care. Requires all included adults to be employed a minimum of 20 hours per week or more or obtaining a degree or certification if the occupation has at least an average job outlook. Requires child care for post-secondary education to be allowed for a lifetime maximum of 24 months per adult. Requires students to be engaged in paid employment for a minimum of 15 hours per week. In a two-parent adult household, disallows child care if both parents are adults and attending a formal education or training program at the same time.

Kentucky

HB 234: Requires the Early Childhood Advisory Council, in consultation with early care and education providers, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, and others, including but not limited to child-care resource and referral agencies and family resource centers, Head Start agencies, and the Kentucky Department of Education develop a quality-based graduated early care and education program rating system for licensed child-care and certified family child-care homes, state-funded preschool, and Head Start.

Louisiana

HB 734: Requires family child care providers and in-home care providers to register with the Department of Education and prohibits any person convicted of or pleaded no contest to certain crimes from being a registered family child care provider, living or working at such property where such care is provided.

 

HCR 174: Requests that the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education identify funding sources for early childhood care and education and submit a report relative to the implementation of its funding model for early childhood care and education.

Maine

HP 927 (LD 1365): Requires licensed child care facilities, certified family child care providers and licensed nursery schools to report incidents that result or could result in serious harm to the physical or mental health, safety or well-being of a child being served by these entities. Requires incidents to be reported to the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services. Requires written notification by the next business day after the incident occurred.

 

SP 541 (LD 1439): Establishes an interagency comprehensive background check program, Background Check Center, which allows direct care access providers to secure background information from abuse and neglect databases, sex offender registries, the registry of certified nursing assistants and direct care workers, professional licensing authorities, Medicare and Medicaid exclusion databases and criminal history repositories.

Nebraska

LB 81: At redetermination of eligibility, if a family's income exceeds 140 percent of the federal poverty level, requires the family continue to receive transitional child care assistance for up to 24 consecutive months or until the family income exceeds 185 percent of the federal poverty level. Requires the amount of such child care assistance to be based on a cost-shared plan between the recipient family and the state and be based on a sliding-scale methodology.

Nevada

AB 152: Requires child care facilities to provide an appropriate, private space on the premises where mothers may breastfeed, and a program of physical activity that ensures children receive daily periods of moderate or vigorous physical activity appropriate for the child’s age; and prohibits a child care facility from withholding or requiring physical activity as a form of discipline.

New York

SB 1517 (AB 870): Requires the notification to families receiving child care assistance and amends the child care portion of a child and family services plan by a social services district that reduces eligibility or increases the family share percentage for child care services and the closing of child care services.

North Carolina

SB 578: Transitions abuse and neglect investigations in child care facilities to the Division of Child Development and Early Education within the Department of Health and Human Services. Sets authority to inspect facilities without notice when there is cause to believe that an emergency situation exists or a complaint alleging a violation has been reported.

North Dakota

HB 1247: Requires early childhood service providers and the provider's staff members who are responsible for the care or teaching of children under the age of one to annually complete a department-approved sudden infant death syndrome prevention training course.

Oklahoma

HB 1118: Specifies that the Child Care Center Bill of Rights include that a child care center or employee provide written documentation of completion of required training. Requires the center to not be found in noncompliance if computer documentation is not updated by the training provider.

 

HB 1274: Allows information, along with any other information relevant to the ability of the individual to perform tasks that require direct contact with children, to be released to another child care facility in response to a request from the child care facility that is considering employing or contracting with the individual unless deemed confidential by state and federal laws. Requires confidentiality and recordkeeping with regard to the information to be the same for the child care facility receiving the information in response to a request as for the child care facility releasing such information.

 

SB 541: Expands grounds for placement on the Online Child Care Restricted Registry to include a substantiated finding of abuse or neglect by an adult in a family child care home when the adult's presence is incidental to the operation of the family child care home.

Oregon

HB 2015: Requires the subsidy programs for employment-related child care to provide for a period of eligibility regardless of change in employment. Permits students enrolled in coursework and self-employed persons to receive subsidized employment-related child care. Allows for reduced copayments and incentive payments when child care provider meets specified minimum standards. Authorizes on-site inspections of child care premises.

Rhode Island

HB 5348 (SB 99): Extends low income child care benefits indefinitely by repealing the June 30, 2015 sunset provision from the law.

 

SB 1021: Requests the Rhode Island Department of Human Services to develop a proposal creating a tiered reimbursement system for licensed child care centers and family child care providers with higher rates being issued to programs recognized as higher quality.

South Dakota

HB 1012: Defines day care center as providing care and supervision of children on a regular basis for part of a day as a supplement to regular parental care, with or without compensation, for 21 or more children, including children under the age of six living in the home and children from more than one unrelated family. Defines group family day care home as providing care and supervision of children on a regular basis for part of a day as a supplement to regular parental care, with or without compensation, for 13 to 20 children, including children under the age of six living in the home and children from more than one unrelated family.

Tennessee

HB 51: Exempts certain child wellness centers operated by not-for-profit organizations from certain child care agency licensure requirements.

 

SB 100: Requires the person or entity responsible for obtaining and submitting the fingerprint sample and any information necessary to process the fingerprint-based background reviews. If the person is not employed directly by a licensed child care agency but is employed by a substitute pool or staffing agency then the substitute pool or staffing agency is responsible for obtaining and submitting the fingerprint sample. Requires the disclosure form and information contained on the form together with the fingerprints of the person to be submitted by the child care agency for its applicants, licensees, operators, substitutes or residents in the format required. Requires information to be transmitted to the TBI for completion of the fingerprint-based background review of criminal records and juvenile records that are available to the TBI.

Texas

HB 1180: Requires the establishment of a searchable Internet database that allows an individual who is seeking child-care facility information to obtain information on the child-care facilities and residential child-care facilities. To assist the individual in making an informed decision when selecting child care, the database must allow searches to be made by a facility's or home's name, operation type, and location and by the ages of children served at the facility or home.

 

SB 1496: Adds listed or registered family homes to the list of facilities that are required to submit a complete set of fingerprints of each person whose name is submitted by the director, owner, or operator.

Utah

SB 12: Requires a child care provider that is exempt from licensure and certification requirements to submit information to the Department of Health for the purpose of conducting criminal history checks and requires posting a notice that the facility is licensure exempt. Prohibits an individual with a misdemeanor or felony from providing child care unless exempted by the Department.

Virginia

SB 1168 (HB 1570): Requires fingerprint-based national criminal history records checks for licensed child day centers and family day homes and requires employees and volunteers of such child day centers and family day homes to notify the provider if they are convicted of a barrier crime or subject to a founded complaint of child abuse or neglect. The bill makes other changes: adds the offenses that require registration in the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry; lowers the maximum number of children for whom a family day home may provide care without a license; requires local commissioners of the revenue or other local business license officials to report to the Department of Social Services semiannually the contact information for any child day center or family day home to which a business license was issued; and requires that unlicensed and unregistered family day homes must provide written notice to parents stating that the family day home is not regulated by the Department, among other things.

Washington

HB 1126: Creates the child fatality review committee. Requires the Department of Early Learning to conduct a child fatality review if a child fatality occurs in an early learning program, a licensed child care center or a licensed child care home.

 

HB 1491: Expands the Early Achievers quality rating improvement program and requires all licensed or certified child care facilities and early learning programs serving non-school age children and receiving state funds to participate in the Early Achievers program, except for programs that have national accreditation standards that meet or exceed the current Early Achievers program standards. Requires the Department of Early Learning to provide a foundation of quality through the Early Achievers program and to support school readiness for young learning in response to program data outcomes. Delays the statewide implementation of the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program from the 2018-19 school year to the 2020-21 school year. Requires the Working Connections Child Care subsidy authorizations to be effective for a 12-month enrollment period and removes the requirement to report changes in circumstances. Requires a report to the legislature on the Early Achievers program.

 

HB 1554: Exempts personal information from public inspection of family members or guardians that have the same last name of the child or if the family member of guardian resides at the same address of the child and disclosure of the family member's or guardian's information would result in disclosure of the personal information that is exempted.

 

SB 5999: Creates the caseload forecast council. Requires the first forecast of children eligible for, and the number of children actually served by, the early childhood education and assistance program to be prepared by the caseload forecast council to facilitate the development of budget proposals by the governor for 2016.

West Virginia

SB 286: Requires a child entering school or a state-regulated child care center in this state must be immunized against chickenpox, hepatitis-b, measles, meningitis, mumps, diphtheria, polio, rubella, tetanus and whooping cough. Requires the Commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health to distribute the vaccines free of charge, in quantities considered necessary, for the benefit of citizens to check contagions and control epidemics.

 

Early Childhood Workforce 

Several states passed bills this session that addressed improving the quality of the early childhood workforce, which can include employees in child care centers and child care home as well as in prekindergarten programs.  

Early Childhood Workforce Legislation

State

Legislation

Connecticut

HB 7020: Allows early childhood education credits earned at an accredited out-of-state institution of higher education to count towards staff qualifications for school readiness program staffing; and requires collection of data to conduct a trend analysis to determine whether the bachelor's degree programs align with teacher preparation standards.

Maryland

SB 677: Requires the State Department of Education to develop a certain master plan that focuses on certain issues relating to qualified providers of early childhood education services.

Nebraska

LB 525: Creates the Nebraska Early Childhood Professional Record System, within the Department of Education, designed to establish a data base of Nebraska's early childhood education workforce; verify educational degrees and professional credentials held and relevant training completed by employees of participating applicable child care and early childhood education programs; and provide such information to the Department of Health and Human Services for use in evaluating applications to be rated at a step above step one. Requires the child care or early childhood education program to report the educational degrees and professional credentials held and relevant training completed by its child care and early childhood education employees to the Nebraska Early Childhood Professional Record System.

Nevada

SB 511: Establishes the Teach Nevada Scholarship Program to provide scholarships to students pursuing teaching degrees at a university, college or other provider of an alternative licensure program. Specifies a teaching program is eligible to receive a grant, including a program allows a student to specialize in the area of early childhood education.

 

Prekindergarten and School Readiness

Numerous states and the District of Columbia passed legislation aimed at improving school readiness for children. Lawmakers enacted bills addressing preschool suspension and expulsion policy, access to early literacy support, early childhood assessments and tracking of program results. Growing concern over the issue of suspensions and expulsions of children from prekindergarten has caught the attention of state lawmakers. During the 2015 legislative sessions, Connecticut and the District of Columbia both passed legislation to address suspension and expulsion for students in prekindergarten. North Dakota established an early childhood education grant program for 4-year-olds. The use of assessment tools in early childhood education programs was addressed in Connecticut, Louisiana, and Maine. Florida and Iowa lawmakers passed legislation that established early literacy programs: Literacy Jump Start Pilot program and the Iowa Reading Corps, respectively.

Prekindergarten and School Readiness Legislation

State

Legislation

Connecticut

HB 7020: Requires the Department of Education to assist in implementation of the kindergarten assessment tool.

 

SB 1053: Prohibits out-of-school suspensions and expulsions for students in preschool and grades kindergarten through second unless a hearing determines that an out-of-school suspension is appropriate for the pupil based on evidence that the pupil's conduct on school grounds is of a violent or sexual nature that endangers persons. Requires that early detection and prevention programs to include a component to identify children experiencing behavioral, disciplinary or early school adjustment problems.

District of Columbia

B1: Prohibits the suspension or expulsion of a student of pre-kindergarten age from any publicly funded pre-kindergarten program. Establishes annual reporting requirements for each local education agency on suspensions and expulsions data.

Florida

HB 153: Establishes the 5-year Literacy Jump Start Pilot to assist low-income, at-risk children in developing emergent literacy skills to provide training to parents to assist their children with success in school. Allows a child is eligible to receive emergent literacy instruction provided through the pilot project only if the child is: 2 or 3 years of age, eligible for a federally subsidized child care program, and a member of a family that is economically disadvantaged and resides in locally or federally subsidized housing.

Indiana

HB 1636: Allows a charter school to limit admissions to allow preschool students who attend a Level 3 or Level 4 Paths to QUALITY program preschool provider to attend kindergarten at a charter school if the charter school and the preschool provider have entered into an agreement to share services or facilities.

Iowa

HB 488: Establishes the Iowa Reading Corps to provide state Reading Corps Americorps members with a data-based, problem-solving model of early literacy instruction to use in tutoring students, from prekindergarten to third grade that are either not proficient in reading or at risk of becoming not proficient in reading.

Louisiana

HB 844: Provides for implementation of the uniform assessment and accountability system for publicly funded early childhood education programs that include a letter grade indicative of student performance, requires public communications that any ratings assigned during the 2015-2016 school year are practice ratings for the academic learning year and prohibits use for consequences.

 

SR 167: Directs public elementary school governing authorities to report to Department of Education regarding alternative discipline strategies utilized prior to suspending or expelling students in grades pre-K through five out of school.

Maine

HP 6 (LD 3): Requires a public charter school that operates a public preschool program to comply with state rules for basic school approval standards for public preschool programs.

 

HP 361 (LD 537): Allows the use of early childhood statewide assessment tools to be used to inform instruction and to communicate effectively with parents. Requires an early childhood statewide assessment to avoid inappropriate use of assessment information, specifically, the assessment may not result in labeling children, restricting kindergarten entry or predicting children's future academic and life success.

 

HP 813 (LD 1180): Requires development of a model policy on child sexual abuse prevention education and response for public preschool programs and elementary schools.

North Dakota

SB 2151: Establishes and appropriates $3 million for a public and private early childhood education grant program for 4-year olds. Requires the Department of Commerce to distribute grants and specifies grant amounts. (Additional information on this bill can be found under the Early Childhood Governance and Systems section of this report.

Oklahoma

SB 285: Requires the State Board of Education to ensure that the standards for early childhood education are aligned with any new subject matter standards.

Oregon

HB 3380: Requires the Early Learning Division, with assistance from the Early Learning Council, to administer a preschool program. The preschool program is required to expand preschool options available to the children of this state. Requires the Early Learning Hubs to coordinate the providers of preschool programs. Allows the Early Learning Hubs to apply for state funding, coordinate local planning and enter into contracts with preschool providers. Defines provider requirements, eligibility, and quality standards.

Texas

HB 4: Establishes a funding program to award funds to school districts and open-enrollment charter schools to implement a prekindergarten program provided free of tuition or fees. A school district may participate in and receive funding under the program if the district meets all required program standards. Requires high quality curriculum and teacher requirements a plan for parent engagement, and a program and program funding evaluation.


HB 731: Establishes a pilot program to enable the state to evaluate the benefit of providing additional funding at the prekindergarten level for low-income students. Permits prekindergarten funding to a school district located in a county that borders the United Mexican States and the Gulf of Mexico and for a school district's prekindergarten program on a half-day basis for a number of low-income prekindergarten students equal to twice the number of students who received, as a result of participation in an early high school graduation program operated by the district, a high school diploma from the district during the preceding school year after three years of secondary school attendance.

Vermont

HB 480: Adds prekindergarten to the definition of elementary education.

 

Early Childhood Governance and Systems

Lawmakers in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota and Oregon continued to work on improving coordination and collaboration between early childhood programs through the development of new entities, task forces or councils.
 
Early Childhood Governance and Systems Legislation

State

Legislation

Alabama

HB 233: Changes the name of the Department of Children's Affairs to the Department of Early Childhood Education and requires the development of a cohesive and comprehensive system of high quality early learning and care.

 

EO 1: Designates the Children's Policy Council as State Advisory Council for early childhood care and education.

Connecticut

SB 841: Creates a comprehensive children's mental, emotional and behavioral health plan implementation advisory board to advise on the execution of the implementation plan for cataloging the mental, emotional and behavioral health services offered for families with children in the state by agency, service type and funding allocation to reflect capacity and utilization of services.

Delaware

HB 148: Creates the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission to serve as the state advisory committee for planning, recommending and implementing changes to improve the quality and availability of education for children in Pre-K through 12 in the city of Wilmington and advise the State on improvements for all schools within the State with high concentrations of children living in poverty.

Hawaii

HB 820 (SB 844): Establishes the Executive Office on Early Learning Public Prekindergarten Program. Requires the program to prepare children for school and active participation in society through the use of either of the State's two official languages and to provide access to high-quality early childhood education that addresses children's physical, cognitive, linguistic, social and emotional development.

Kansas

EO 1: Abolishes all councils, task forces, committees, boards, advisory councils, and commissions (if any) created by such Executive Order including but not limited to family child care providers and the Governor's P20 Education Council.

Kentucky

HB 429: Creates the Kentucky Child Care Advisory Council.

Nebraska

LB 607: Creates the Inter-generational Poverty Task Force to examine aid to dependent children programs and child care assistance programs, requires the Task Force to submit, including the long-range strategic plans and procedures.

New Mexico

HM 2: Requests the family-friendly workplace task force to convene a parental paid-leave working group to make findings and develop recommendations for the establishment of a publicly managed parenting workers' leave fund and for the establishment of a parental paid-leave program to provide paid leave to parents for childbirth and to care for newborn or newly adopted children or for newly acquired foster children.

 

HM 92: Requests a task force of concerned and interested parties to study and report on the cost of full compliance with and implementation of the United States Department of Health and Human Services guidelines and recommendations for eligibility, level of subsidy and parental copayments under the federal child care and development fund program.

North Dakota

SB 2151: Requires a coalition of early childhood education service providers and a coalition governing board to provide advice and guidance to the coalition. Requires the Department of Commerce to distribute grants and specifies grant amounts to providers who are in the coalition or serve on the board and operate an early childhood education program with at least ten hours of research-based parental involvement and is willing to admit children of all learning abilities into the early childhood education program.

Oregon

HB 2219: Requires Department of Human Services to convene a work group to study how to create a consolidated application process for residents to apply for and obtain assistance in accessing food, housing, medical care, education, employment services, child care and other social services. Requires proposals for ensuring that all human services agencies have access to a client's records while preserving confidentiality.

 

SB 213: Requires the Early Learning Council to develop metrics for funding Early Learning Hubs and permits the Council to require matching funds from a Hub that receives funding. Requires the Council to oversee and administer the delivery of early learning services and to regionalize service administration for communities not served by a Hub. Requires a report annually to interim committees of Legislative Assembly regarding implementation and status of such Hubs.

 

SB 902: Requires the cooperation of coordinated care organizations with providers of early learning services to children, evaluate the adequacy of resources including school-based health centers and school nurses in developing plans.

 

Early Childhood Services

Legislation included in this category can cover a myriad of early childhood related policy and programs. During the 2015 session several states passes early childhood legislation to address developmental screening, infant mortality, required immunizations, access to facilities, and evidence-based programming.

Early Childhood Services Legislation

State

Legislation

Connecticut

HB 6579: Requires a health care provider, when completing the state's (1) early childhood health assessment record form or (2) public school health assessment form for a child age five or younger, to indicate on the form whether he or she performed a developmental screening during the related examination.

Hawaii

HB 1251: Provides public charter schools and early learning programs with the opportunity to secure the use of additional state facilities deemed vacant and appropriate for use.

Indiana

HB 1004: Establishes the Safety PIN (Protecting Indiana's Newborns) grant program and fund to reduce the state's infant mortality rates. Programs can include, although are not limited to, evidence-based home visiting programs.

Texas

HB 2630: Provides funding for evidence-based programs, including parenting education, home visitation, family support services, mentoring, positive youth development programs, and crisis counseling, offered by community-based organizations that are designed to prevent or ameliorate child abuse and neglect.

West Virginia

SB 286: Requires a child entering school or a state-regulated child care center in this state must be immunized against chickenpox, hepatitis-b, measles, meningitis, mumps, diphtheria, polio, rubella, tetanus and whooping cough. Requires the Commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health to distribute the vaccines free of charge, in quantities considered necessary, for the benefit of citizens to check contagions and control epidemics.

 

Early Childhood Data Strategies

Over the last decade states have been developing coordinated state early care and education data systems. These data systems can help legislators to understand and thus improve the quality of early childhood programs including the workforce and ultimately improve child outcomes. Robust data also assists legislators in determining which programs achieve outcomes that align with state goals and direct funding towards those programs. 

Early Childhood Data Strategies Legislation

State

Legislation

Alabama

EO 9: Creates a statewide longitudinal data system to match information about students from early learning through postsecondary education and into employment.

Iowa

HF 650, Sec. 3: Appropriates $500,000 for the development of an integrated data system for maternal health, child health, oral health, family planning, the maternal, infant, and early childhood home visiting program, the healthy opportunities for parents to experience success program, the school-based dental sealant program, and the 1st five program.

Maryland

HB 298: Requires operators of certain Internet sites, services, and applications, under contract with a public school or local school system and used primarily for a preK-12, to protect certain student information from unauthorized access, to implement and maintain certain security procedures and practices, and to delete certain student information under certain circumstances, prohibits certain operators from knowingly engaging in certain activities with respect to certain sites, services, and applications relating to targeted advertising, selling certain student information.

Nebraska

LB 525: Creates the Nebraska Early Childhood Professional Record System, within the Department of Education, designed to establish a data base of Nebraska's early childhood education workforce; verify educational degrees and professional credentials held and relevant training completed by employees of participating applicable child care and early childhood education programs; and provide such information to the Department of Health and Human Services for use in evaluating applications to be rated at a step above step one. Requires the child care or early childhood education program to report the educational degrees and professional credentials held and relevant training completed by its child care and early childhood education employees to the Nebraska Early Childhood Professional Record System.

 

This bill is also listed under the Early Childhood Workforce section.

 

Home Visiting and Parenting Education

Four states passed legislation that focused on state home visiting programs. Enacted legislation addresses program coordination, implementation, expansion, home visitor training, and outcome accountability.

Home Visiting and Parenting Education Legislation

State

Legislation

Connecticut

SB 925: Establishes a home visitation program consortium that will make recommendations for implementing the coordination of home visitation programs within the early childhood system.

Minnesota

HB 6: Appropriates funds to design baseline training for new home visitors to ensure statewide coordination across home visiting programs, and to provide grants to community health boards and tribal nations for start-up grants for new nurse-family partnership programs and for grants to expand existing programs to serve first-time mothers, prenatally by 28 weeks gestation until the child is two years of age, who are eligible for medical assistance.

Oklahoma

HB 2157: Enacts the Family Support Accountability Act which requires home-visiting programs to conduct visits by trained educators, recommends programs to work in partnership, mandates programs to achieve a minimum of specified outcomes, requires information sharing, and mandates collaboration with the Early Childhood Advisory Council.

Texas

SB 219: Requires implementation of the Texas Home Visiting program and development of a strategic plan to serve at-risk pregnant women and families with children under the age of six through home visiting programs that improve outcomes for parents and families.

 

Appropriations and Financing

Lawmakers appropriated state and federal funds for existing program ranging from child care, early literacy, state prekindergarten programs, home visiting and others. The NCSL annual legislative summary report does not report on all appropriations bills, it does highlight those that contain substantive policy language or focus on a specific program model.
 
Innovative financing strategies are always of interest to lawmakers who continually grapple with competing funding priorities. Over the last few years a state lawmakers have been looking to a new and innovative financing strategy: Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) otherwise known as Pay for Success (PFS) financing. This funding model allows governments to partner with the private sector to pay for social programs that have a proven record of success. The private sector puts up the original funding for a particular program such as an early education program or a prisoner recidivism program, and government only pays back the funding once desired outcomes are achieved. During its 2014 legislative session Utah passed the first Pay for Success bill (HB 96) to fund an existing high quality preschool program. During the 2015 legislative sessions, Colorado, Idaho enacted bill that would allow the state to enter into PFS contracts to fund social service programs and those what would improve student achievement. Maine’s bill requires the study the use of social impact bonds.
 
Appropriations and Financing Legislation

State

Legislation

Alabama

SB 179: Makes an appropriation to the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) Program and child care.

Arkansas

SB 534: Makes an appropriation to the Department of Human Services - Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education for pediatric early literacy program grants.

California

AB 104: Provides supplemental funding to qualifying California state preschool classrooms, and requires a part-day preschool program to provide parenting education and staff development for teachers in participating classrooms as a condition of receiving funds. Requires as part of staff development the development of improved behavioral strategies and the provision of interventions for young children to improve kindergarten readiness. Sets income eligibility limits for the 2015-16 fiscal year at 70 percent of the state median income that was in use for the 2007-08 fiscal year, sets the reimbursement rate at $9,572.50, and the full-day state preschool reimbursement rate at $9,632.50. Requires that rate to be increased by the cost-of-living adjustment granted by the Legislature annually. This bill would authorize the City and County of San Francisco to implement the individualized county child care subsidy plan indefinitely.

Colorado

HB 1317: Establishes that Pay for Success Contracts leverage private sector resources to implement social services programs that are likely to generate subsequent direct or indirect reductions in government spending for other programs.

Connecticut

SB 1085: Each individual health insurance policy providing certain specified coverage must provide benefits for the diagnosis and treatment of mental or nervous conditions. Benefits payable include, but need not be limited to evidence-based maternal, infant and early childhood home visitation services that are designed to improve health outcomes for pregnant women, postpartum mothers and newborns and children.

 

SB 1101: Establishes an account to be known as the "smart start competitive operating grant account" which requires to be a separate, non-lapsing account within the General Fund. Requires moneys in the account to be expended by the Office of Early Childhood for the Smart Start competitive grant program.

Hawaii

HB 821 (SB 843): Allows the Executive Office of Early Education to use and expend federal funds for the purpose of early childhood education.


Amends the definition of early childhood education to mean a developmentally appropriate early childhood development and education program for children from birth until the time they enter kindergarten.

 

SB 64: Appropriates funds for subsidies for the preschool Open Doors Program.

Idaho

HB 170: Allows the Department of Education to enter into Pay for Success contracts for approved services for an evidence-based program to enhance student achievement.

Indiana

HB 1001: Appropriates funding to the Healthy Families Indiana program.

Iowa

HB 658: Appropriates funding for the school ready children grants account of the early childhood Iowa fund for skills develop and training for staff; for efforts to improve the quality of early care, health, and education programs; to hire additional staff and for the reimbursement of staff; for support of professional development and training activities for persons working in early care, health, and education by the early childhood Iowa state board in collaboration with the professional development component groups.
 

Appropriates funding for the Early Childhood Iowa Fund—Preschool Tuition Assistance and Family Support and Parent Education.   

 

Appropriates funding for implementation and expansion of early head start pilot projects that address the comprehensive cognitive, social, emotional, and developmental needs of children from birth to age three, including prenatal support.

 

SB 505, Sec. 123: Appropriates up to $367,420 for the Healthy Opportunities for Parents to ExperiencS (HOPES)-Healthy Families Iowa (HFI) program.

Maine

HP 285 (LD 418): Requires the University of Maine System's Education Research Institute to study the use of social impact bonds to fund extended learning programs for students whose abilities exceed the general curriculum and prekindergarten programs.

Missouri

SB 24: Requires any ongoing savings resulting from a reduction in state expenditures due to modification of the supplemental nutrition assistance program or the temporary assistance for needy families programs occurring in August 2015 to be used to provide child care assistance for single parent households, education assistance, and job training for individuals receiving benefits.

Nebraska

LB 547: Requires the Department of Health and Human Services to increase its reservation of federal funds received from the child care and development block grant for activities relating to the quality of child care services according to the federal timeline of the CCDBG Reauthorization.

North Dakota

HB 1018: Appropriates $2,250,000 for a child care facility grant program to be developed by the Department of Commerce. Establishes guidelines to qualify for a grant, must include a matching requirement of one dollar of matching funds for every three dollars of grant funds and a maximum grant amount of $187,500.

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