2016 Enacted Legislation on Early Care and Education

2/14/2017

Session Overview

Man reading a paper wtih the word REPORTSThe National Conference of State Legislatures’ Early Care and Education Project in the Children and Families Program tracks introduced and enacted legislation related to child care, prekindergarten, home visiting, parent engagement and support, governance structures and financing of programs. During the 2016 legislative session, state lawmakers addressed an array of policy issues related to young children introducing nearly 1,000 bills with approximately 120 bills signed into law in 38 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Child care was a dominant issue this year with 29 states passing legislation that ranged from licensing background checks, provider inspections, subsidy eligibility requirements to actions to address the quality of the child care workforce. Lawmakers in 12 states passed prekindergarten legislation that addressed a variety of issues including program quality, universal access and suspension and expulsion of prekindergarten students. In addition, states passed legislation dealing with early childhood data systems and data collection to improve accountability and service delivery, creating task forces and committees to address specific early childhood issues, home visiting programs, two-generation strategies, and targeted appropriations and tax credits.  

This report provides an overview of significant 2016 legislative enactments in the following major topic areas:

  • Child care (subsidy, quality, and access).
  • Early childhood workforce.
  • Prekindergarten and school readiness.
  • Early childhood governance and systems.
  • Early childhood services.
  • Data strategies.
  • Home visiting and parent education.
  • Finance strategies and appropriations. 

This report does not report on all appropriations bills. However, it does highlight those that contain substantive policy language or focus on a specific program model.

Place your mouse over the columns for details.

2016 Early Care and Education Enacted Legislation

 
 
Enacted Bills by Topic Map
The map shoows the states that enacted a bill AK WA MT ND NH VT NY MI MN WI OH PA CT NJ RI MA NV OR ID WY SD IA IL IN MO NE HI CO TN AR KS UT CA DE MD WV KY FL SC TX DC AL MS LA OK AZ NC ME VA NM GA PR GU VI AS MP Enacted Bills by Topic Map
 

 

Enacted Legislation by Category

Child Care

At least 26 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico passed laws relating to child care: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Many states were responding to the recent federal reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), which included new requirements for states related to health and safety, quality, equal access, and consumer choices and access to information.  

Background Checks and Inspections: According to the CCDBG law, states are now required to conduct comprehensive background checks and conduct annual monitoring on all providers including license-exempt providers to ensure they are meeting health and safety standards. Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Tennessee all enacted legislation that addressed criminal background checks for child care personnel. Examples include Connecticut HB 5466 that amends existing law to require that within a family child care setting each household member who is 16 years of age or older must submit to state and national criminal history record checks, and a check of the state child abuse registry. Maine LD 1169 requires child care facilities and family child care providers to have a criminal background check for each child care staff member whose activities involve the care or supervision of children, and by each adult who has unsupervised access to children who are cared for by a child care facility or home; New Hampshire SB 453 requires a comprehensive criminal background check for individuals in registered and licensed child day care agencies and child care institutions; and Tennessee SB 2554 requires child care personnel to submit a fingerprint sample and go through a fingerprint-based background review of criminal history records, and juvenile records to be conducted and reviewed by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI). 

Eligibility: Colorado SB 212 and Florida HB 7053 align state statutes with changes made to eligibility requirements for the federal child care and assistance program. Both bills contain language that addresses the 12-month eligibility redetermination requirement for a child care subsidy and requires child care transitional assistance for three months after a parent’s job loss or cessation of education or job training to enable the parent to obtain employment. Florida HB 7053 states that the state is responsible for coordination and dissemination of information on child care to the community through electronic means. It also requires the state to develop and implement strategies to increase the supply and improve the quality of child care and to establish pre-service and in-service training requirements for providers.

Other bills of note include Oklahoma’s SB 1554 which requires all directors of child care centers to have either a bachelor degree in early childhood education or child development, or a bachelor degree and at least three years of experience working with children from newborn to 12 years of age. Minnesota SB 3208 creates a legislative task force on child care to review the shortage of child care providers in the state, assess affordability issues for providers and parents, and identify areas that need to be addressed by the legislature. 

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Child Care Legislation

STATE

LEGISLATION

Arizona HB 2262: Child care assistance must cease after a time period specified in the rule by the Department of Economic Security once the family income exceeds 165 percent of the federal poverty level but remains below 85 percent of the state median income (SMI). Once family income exceeds 85 percent of SMI child care assistance will cease. Adds the level of a state-approved quality indicator to the list of reasons the department can pay different levels of child care assistance.

California

AB 2036: Requires an online child care job posting service providing online information about non-licensed potential child care providers to include a specific information regarding the Trustline registry—Trustline is California’s official background check for license-exempt child care providers that have cleared background checks—on its internet website in the state. Requires an online job posting service to include a statement regarding a parent's right to information on background checks and inspections and monitoring on its internet website. Requires information about the background check and the background check provider. Imposes a fine for violations and civil penalties.           

 

AB 2231: Increases civil penalties for repeat licensing violations. Allows an appeal procedure for deficiencies and a reduction of civil penalties under certain circumstances.

 

AB 2368: Allows the County of Santa Clara to develop an individualized county child care subsidy plan. Requires the plan to be submitted to the local planning council and the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors for approval. Requires the Early Education and Support Division of the State Department of Education to review and approve or disapprove the plan.

Colorado

HB 1227: Establishes exemptions from child support enforcement requirements as a condition of receipt of child care assistance for teen parents and victims of domestic violence, a sexual offense, harassment, or stalking.

 

HB 1425: A licensed child care center is not required to obtain immunization records for any child who enrolls on a short-term basis and attends the center for up to15 days in a 15-consecutive-day period or less in a 15-consecutive-day period, no more than twice in a calendar year, with each 15-consecutive-day period separated by a certain number of days, relates to the acceptance of short-term enrollees.

 

SB 22: Expands the number of counties that can participate in the existing pilot program designed to mitigate the cliff effect for low-income families who are working and receiving child care assistance. Expanded participation is subject to available appropriations.

 

SB 212: Aligns state statutes with changes made to the federal child care assistance program. Requires that a parent receiving Colorado child care assistance support continues to be eligible for those supports for a 12-month period before eligibility is redetermined, and receive at least 90 days of transitional assistance, as long as the child's family income remains below the federal limit of 85 percent of state median income for that family size.

Connecticut

HB 5306: Requires a currently licensed person or entity seeking a change of operator, ownership or location to file a new child care license application. Adds a requirement that a program is required to inform the parents and legal guardians of children enrolled in such program that it is not licensed.

 

HB 5466: Adds to existing law that, within a family child care setting, each household member who is 16 years of age or older must submit to a state and national criminal history record check, and a check of the state child abuse registry.

District of Columbia

B 21-590: Extends eligibility for subsidized child care to foster parents who may no longer be working but have some form of verifiable income, teen parents under 21 years of age who themselves are in foster care or wards of the district, and foster parents who are not working but who are enrolled in a verified job training or education program.

Florida

HB 1125: Prohibits child care personnel who have been identified as a sex offender, convicted of a felony, or convicted of a violent misdemeanor from being employed by a child care facility. Child care personnel employed as of July 1, 2016 and have been granted an exemption to a disqualification from employment must be rescreened no later than Aug.1, 2016.

 

HB 7053: Adds the Office of Early Learning to the list of departments that can use the central abuse hotline and automated abuse information system as part of the licensure or registration process for school readiness providers.

 

Requires employment history check for the preceding five years, a search of criminal history records, sexual predators and sexual offender registry and child abuse and neglect registry of any state where the applicant lived during the previous five years. An applicant must submit a full set of fingerprints that will be forwarded to the Department of Law Enforcement.

 

The Department of Law Enforcement and local licensing agencies are responsible for coordination and dissemination of information on child care to the community through electronic means, all licensing standards and procedures, health and safety standards, monitoring and inspection reports, the number of deaths, serious injuries, and instances of substantiated child abuse that have occurred in child care settings among other things.

 

The Office of Early Learning will develop and implement strategies to increase the supply of and improve the quality of child care for infants and toddlers, children with disabilities, children receiving care during nontraditional hours, children in underserved areas and children in areas that have significant concentrations of poverty and unemployment.

Requires parent notification within 10 days after any change in employment status, income, or family size or failure to maintain attendance at a job training or educational program. Requires 90 days of transitional assistance, amended from 60 days and requires a 12-month eligibility redetermination period.

 

Requires pre-service and in-service training for providers.

Georgia

HR 1820: Encourages health care professionals to educate caregivers on ways to reduce infant sleep related deaths.

Hawaii

HB 2343: Clarifies that persons who are exempt from licensure or registration, and are caring for a child whose family receives child care subsidies from the Department of Human Services are required to meet minimum health and safety requirements determined by the department, including training and monitoring inspections. Requires background checks for licensed and registered child care providers as well as license-exempt child care providers caring for children whose families receive child care subsidies that must include child abuse and neglect registry checks in states where the individual has previously resided and sex offender registry checks. Background checks would apply to current and future applicants, household members, employees, and prospective employees of licensed and registered child care homes and facilities.

Illinois SB 2321: Requires day care providers that are exempt from licensure to provide written verification of exemption and a description of compliance with standards for the health, safety, and development of children who receive services. Provider must provide a notarized statement that the facility complies with: (1) the standards of the Department of Public Health or local health department, (2) the fire safety standards of the State Fire Marshal, and (3) if operated in a public school building, the health and safety standards of the State Board of Education.

Kansas

SB 402: Any individual that has failed to cooperate with a fraud investigation will become ineligible to participate in the TANF cash assistance program and the child care subsidy program. Requires the Department of Administration to provide monthly to the Kansas Department for Children and Families the social security numbers or alternate taxpayer identification numbers of all persons who claim a Kansas lottery prize in excess of $5,000 during the reported month and will use this data received to determine if any recipient's eligibility for benefits has been affected by lottery prize winnings. Adds adults who are participants in an early head start child care partnership program and are working or in school or training as exempt from the requirement that all included adults will be employed a minimum of 20 hours per week or more.

Kentucky HB 148: Allows licensed child-care centers and certified family child-care homes to obtain a prescription for epinephrine auto-injectors. These epinephrine auto-injectors must be stored in a secure, accessible, readily available location not accessible to children, for quick administration.

Louisiana

HB 175: Requires employees of early learning centers to receive training in recognition and prevention of shaken baby syndrome and requires that the Department of Health and Hospitals’ Office of Public Health provide the information and resources for such training and for other areas of required training that promotes the health, safety and welfare of children.

 

HB 197: Makes it unlawful for a child care provider to continue to operate a child day care center after notification by the Department of Education the facility should seek a license or, to continue to operate a child day care center after the Department of Education has revoked a license to operate a child day care center. Establishes penalties of $1,000, imprisonment for up to six months or both.  

 

HB 361: Amends civil-related penalties for persons operating early learning centers without a valid license issued by the Department of Education from at least $1,000 a day to no more than $1,000 for each day of the offense.

 

HB 830: Amends law to authorize the Department of Education, rather than the owner or operator of an early learning center, to request criminal history information of an owner or volunteer, applicant or employee of any kind of an early learning center. The department may collect the processing fees charged by the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information for a state criminal history report and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a federal criminal history information report.

 

SB 109: Requires applications for assistance and information contained in case records of child care assistance clients of the Department of Education to be confidential and, it will be unlawful for any person to solicit, disclose, receive, make use of, authorize, knowingly permit, participate in, or acquiesce in the use of applications or client case records or the information contained therein for any purpose not directly connected with the administration of department programs.       

Maine

LD 1689: Requires child care facilities and family child care providers to have a criminal background check for each child care staff member whose activities involve the care or supervision of children, by each adult who has unsupervised access to children who are cared for by a child care facility or home.

 

Allows the joint standing committee to submit a bill, including recommendations provided by the department to implement the criminal background checks required and take into account the concerns of child care providers, including but not limited to employment needs while waiting for background check results, and to explore options, including the application of federal grant funds, to defray all or some of the initial and ongoing additional costs.

Maryland

HB 329: Establishes requirements for the advertisements for certain child care services. Allows certain employees of the state Department of Education or the state or local fire marshal to visit, and to serve a civil citation to certain child care homes and child care centers if the child care home or child care center is advertised and is not registered or licensed with the Department. Expresses intent that that the state Department of Education expand its efforts to educate parents about the potential dangers of unregistered or unlicensed child care and the advantages of care provided by registered family child care homes and licensed child care centers, and unregulated, unlicensed, or prospective child care providers about the advantages of becoming registered family child care homes or licensed child care centers and the resources available to assist them in becoming registered or licensed child care providers.

Minnesota

SB 3208: Creates a legislative task force on child care to review the shortage of child care providers in the state, assess affordability issues for providers and parents, and identify areas that need to be addressed by the legislature. Duties may include a review of the current pre-service and in-service training requirements for family child care providers and child care center staff, the availability of training and review the time it takes for the department to provide Child Care Assistance Program reimbursement to providers among other things.

New Hampshire

HB 645: Establishes an enhanced criminal penalty for any person operating a child day care agency if a permanent debilitating injury or death occurs. Requires a legally licensed exempt child care provider to notify the child’s parent of its license exempt status and prohibits such providers from holding themselves out as licensed. Establishes a criminal penalty for persons who falsely advertise or hold themselves out as licensed child day care providers.

 

SB 453: Requires comprehensive criminal background checks for individuals in registered and licensed child day care agencies. Includes the names, birth names, birth dates, and addresses during the preceding five years.

 

Requires an FBI fingerprint check using the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System through a qualified law enforcement agency or department of safety.

Creates a child care employment eligibility care, once the department has made a determination that the individual required to complete a criminal record check is eligible for employment. The eligibility card will be valid for five years provided that no disqualifying convictions are subsequently submitted, and the individual remains eligible.

 

The fee for a child care employment eligibility card shall be $50, and the card shall be valid for five years from the date of issuance. The fee for a replacement card shall be $15.

New York SB 6837: Authorizes the lease of lands located at the State University of New York College at Old Westbury for the construction and operation of a child care center for the purpose of creating a child care center to serve students, faculty, staff and the local community.

Oklahoma

SB 1211: The Department of Human Services, in consultation with the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth, will appoint an advisory committee of representatives of child care facilities and others to recommend minimum requirements and desirable standards to be disseminated by the Department. The committee will include four subcommittees with representation from all categories of facilities licensed by the Department including: Residential Children's Services subcommittee, Child Care Centers subcommittee, Child Care Homes subcommittee and Quality Rating and Improvement System subcommittee.

 

SB 1273: Prohibits child care centers and family child care homes from using soft or loose bedding, including, but not limited to, blankets in sleeping equipment or in sleeping areas used only for infants. Allows toys or educational devices in sleeping equipment or in a sleeping area used for infants.

 

SB 1274: Requires a child care facility that does not have general liability insurance to post a conspicuous notice at the facility indicating the facility does not have liability insurance coverage or reports self-insurance in accordance with state law, and keep a form signed by the parent or legal guardian of each child that he or she has been told that the child care facility does not carry at least $200,000 of general liability insurance.

 

SB1424: Requires owners seeking to establish or operate a child care facility to have a comprehensive background check that includes a search of the Oklahoma State Courts Network, Child Care Restricted Registry, national criminal history records search, criminal history records search when the individual has lived outside the U.S. within the last three years, and a search of the Sex Offenders Registry. Requires criminal background searches prior to the employment of an individual, prior to allowing unsupervised access to children by employees or individuals, including contract employees and volunteers, and prior to all adults living in the facility or home. The national criminal history records search will be paid for by the individual or facility.

 

SB 1554: Requires all directors of child care centers to have either a bachelor degree in early childhood education or child development, or a bachelor degree and at least three years of experience working with children from newborn to 12 years of age.

Rhode Island

HB 7034: Allows the Department of Children, Youth and Families to process nationwide criminal record checks on prospective foster parents and household members 18 years of age and older, prospective adoptive parents, operators of child care facilities which must be licensed and persons seeking employment in a child care facility.

 

SB 3098 (HB 8127): Directs the Department of Health to use funds from federal capitalization grants to conduct baseline copper and lead testing of the water supply systems of each local government as well as all public schools serving students from prekindergarten to grade 12 and state licensed daycare facilities in the state.

Puerto Rico

HB 2714: Grants the Family Department the authority to establish a system for licensing and supervision of all institutions devoted to the care, learning and development of children in Puerto Rico and establishes arrangements for the licensing.        

South Carolina

HB 4262: Requires any person applying to become a registered family child care home, a person 15 years of age or older living in the family child care home and any person 15 years of age or older who moves into the family child care home after the initial application for registration is approved to undergo a state fingerprint review to be conducted by the State Law Enforcement Division to determine any state criminal history and a fingerprint review to be conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to determine any other criminal history. The fingerprint reviews are not required upon each renewal.

 

Requires an operator of a family child care home and any person employed by or who contracts with an operator of a family childcare home to provide direct child care, to annually complete and provide documentation to the Department of Social Services of a minimum of ten hours of approved training.

South Dakota

SB 28: Requires any child entering school or an early childhood program, prior to admission, to present to the appropriate school authorities certification from a licensed physician that the child has received or is in the process of receiving adequate immunization against poliomyelitis, diphtheria, pertussis, rubeola, rubella, mumps, tetanus, meningitis, and varicella. As an alternative to the requirement for a physician's certification, the child may present: (1) Certification from a licensed physician stating the physical condition of the child would be such that immunization would endanger the child's life or health or (2) A written statement signed by one parent or guardian that the child is an adherent to a religious doctrine whose teachings are opposed to such immunization.

Tennessee

SB 2554: Requires child care personnel to submit a fingerprint sample, fingerprint-based background review of criminal history records and juvenile records to be conducted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

 

Requires review of the person’s status on the Department of Health’s vulnerable persons register, on the state sex offender registry and the child and adult abuse or neglect registry along with any other equivalent registries in the jurisdiction where the person has resided in the past five years, and a review of any available juvenile records in juvenile court.

 

Requires the department to pay the one-time processing fee that is required by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

 

Requires employees of the department’s licensing division to undergo a review of their status on the vulnerable person’s registry, on the state sex offender registry and the child and adult abuse or neglect registry or the equivalent administrative registries where the person has resided in the past five years and a review of any juvenile recorder in juvenile court.

 

Requires pre-service orientation and additional training for child care providers within the first six months of employment.

Utah

SB 148: Modifies existing background check requirements. Removes the waiver for a fingerprint requirement for an individual who has resided in Utah for the previous five years. Requires all child care providers to submit to the Department of Workforce Services the name and other identifying information, including a set of fingerprints of existing, new, and proposed individuals who provide or may provide child care and who are individuals who are at least 18 years of age and reside on the premises where the child care is provided. 

Virginia

HB 1146: Prohibits a locality from requiring notice to or consent of a condominium association or homeowners' association prior to the issuance of a permit, certificate, license, building permit or business license for a business, profession or child care facility.

 

SJR 63: Requires the Department of Social Services to study child day programs exempt from licensure; formulate recommendations regarding whether such programs should remain exempt from licensure or whether any modifications are necessary to protect the health and well-being of the children receiving care in such programs; consider such other matters as may be necessary regarding health and safety requirements for licensed child day centers and consult with all relevant stakeholders.

Washington

HB 2511: Changes current rule to allow child care providers to serve, in the same classroom, 5-year olds in kindergarten and five-year olds not yet in kindergarten without having to go through a waiver process. Does not require a change to the staff-to- child ratio requirements for mixed-age groups that include children who are ages 30 months through 6 years.

West Virginia

SB 309: Requires any residential child care facility, day care center or any child placing agency operated by the state to obtain approval of its operations. Any family day care facility, including family day care facilities approved for receipt of funding, must obtain a statement of certification. Any informal family child care home or relative family child care home may voluntarily register and obtain a certificate of registration. Any child care service that is licensed or receives a certificate of registration shall have a written plan for evacuation in the event of fire, natural disaster or other threatening situation that may pose a health or safety hazard to the children in the child care service.

Wisconsin

SB 304: Requires each family and in-home child care provider to demonstrate being free from tuberculosis prior to the date the provider begins working with children. For a child care operator, including a child care provider who is also a child care operator, the certification agency may accept results of a test administered up to 12 months before the application date. For a child care provider who is not also a child care operator, the certification agency may accept the results of a test administered up to 12 months before the date the provider began working with children.            

 

Early Childhood Workforce

Research indicates that high-quality early care and education programs can produce positive educational and social-emotional outcomes for young children. An essential component of a high-quality program is a highly qualified workforce. Three states—Missouri, Oklahoma and Virginia—passed bills this session addressing the education and training of the early childhood workforce, which can include employees in child care centers and child care homes as well as in prekindergarten programs. 

Early Childhood Workforce Legislation

STATE

LEGISLATION

Missouri

HB 2002: Provides grants to higher education institutions for the Child Development Associate Certificate Program.

Oklahoma

SB 1554: Requires all directors of child care centers to have either a bachelor degree in early childhood education or child development, or a bachelor degree and at least three years of experience working with children from newborn to 12 years of age.

Virginia

HB 46: Establishes the School Readiness Committee to address the development and alignment of an effective professional development and credentialing system for the early childhood education workforce. The committee will consider articulation agreements between associate and baccalaureate degree programs, review of teacher licensure and education programs, including programs offered at comprehensive community colleges, alignment of existing professional development funding streams, and development of innovative approaches to increasing accessibility, availability, affordability of the workforce development system.

Prekindergarten and School Readiness

Numerous states and the District of Columbia passed legislation aimed at improving school readiness for children. Minnesota HB 2749 creates a universal voluntary prekindergarten program. New Hampshire (HB 1145) and New Jersey (SB 2081) lawmakers enacted bills addressing preschool suspension and expulsion policy. Tennessee SB 1899 requires that prekindergarten programs must be coordinated with instruction in the early elementary grades with the goal of ensuring that instruction builds upon prekindergarten classroom experiences. Virginia HB 47 establishes the Mixed-Delivery Preschool Services Fund and Grant Program to field-test innovative strategies and evidence-based practices that support a robust system of mixed-delivery preschool services.

Prekindergarten and School Readiness

State

LEGISLATION

California

AB 2799: Creates the Student Online Personal Information Protection Act. Prohibits the operator of an internet website, online service, online application, or mobile application that is designed, marketed and used for preschool or prekindergarten purposes, to knowingly engage in specified activities with respect to their site, service or application.

Florida

HB 7029: A child who has attained 4 years of age on or before Sept. 1 of the school year is eligible for the Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) Education Program and remains eligible until kindergarten entry. The Office of Early Learning may assign a kindergarten readiness rate for the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program. The kindergarten readiness rate measures how well a Voluntary Prekindergarten provider prepares 4-year-olds for kindergarten. Any private prekindergarten provider or public school that was on probation for the 2013-2014 program year will remain on probation until the provider or school meets the minimum rate adopted by the office.

Georgia

HB 750: Appropriates funding to provide training, technical assistance and oversight of a prekindergarten program operated by public and private providers throughout the state and to improve the quality of early learning and increase school readiness.

Indiana

HB 1330: Adds to the list of eligible providers for the prekindergarten pilot program any school that is accredited to provide qualified early education services by an accrediting agency approved by the Office of the Secretary.

Maryland

SB 369: Requires a local department of social services or health to notify a parent or guardian that their child may be eligible for publicly funded prekindergarten programs if the family has applied for economic services and has a child who will be 4 years old on Sept. 1 of the next academic year. The notice must include contact and enrollment information.

Minnesota

HB 2749 (Article 27, Sec. 6): Creates the universal voluntary prekindergarten program that includes, but is not limited to:

  • Instruction through play-based learning.
  • Use of a formative assessment aligned with early learning standards.
  • At least 350 hours of instruction per school year.
  • Staff with salaries comparable to those of local K-12 staff.
  • Coordination of appropriate kindergarten transition with families, community-based prekindergarten programs, and school district kindergarten programs.
  • Parent engagement strategies that are culturally and linguistically appropriate.
  • Coordination with community-based services.
  • High-quality professional development, training and coaching that is informed by a measure of adult-child interactions.

Includes rules for eligibility, mixed delivery of services, and qualification for high poverty areas. 

New Hampshire

HB 1145: Establishes a committee to study suspensions and expulsions of children in licensed preschools and in kindergarten through grade three.  

New Jersey

SB 2081: Limits expulsions and suspensions for students in preschool through second grade with certain exceptions. Requires early detection and prevention programs for behavioral issues in preschool through second grade.

Oklahoma

HB 2404: All children who are at least 4 years old, but not more than 5 years old, on or before Sept. 1, and who have not attended a public school kindergarten are entitled to attend half-day or full-day early childhood programs at any public school in the state where such programs are offered. The state Board of Education will develop rules that create exemptions relating to the maximum age at which a child may attend half-day or full-day early childhood programs.

Tennessee

SB 1899: Changes requirements for voluntary prekindergarten programs to ensure that the programs are high quality, meeting the criteria for a highly qualified program and meeting standards for kindergarten readiness.

 

Prekindergarten programs must:

  • Coordinate with instruction in elementary schools with the goal of ensuring that elementary grade instruction builds upon prekindergarten classroom experiences.
  • Engage parents and families of prekindergarten students throughout the year.
  • Deliver relevant and meaningful professional development to voluntary prekindergarten teachers.

Requires approved prekindergarten programs to utilize the prekindergarten/kindergarten growth portfolio model approved by the Board of Education in the evaluation of prekindergarten and kindergarten teachers.

 

The state must approve a kindergarten entry screening tool that will be administered to all students entering kindergarten to provide educators with baseline information about where their students are when the students enter kindergarten and to provide usable data concerning how well students have been prepared in their preschool experience.

Utah

SB 101: Expands access to high quality school readiness programs.

Requires the Department of Workforce Services to determine eligibility for an Intergenerational Poverty School Readiness Scholarship.

 

Creates the Student Access to High Quality School Readiness Programs Act which establishes a grant program to expand access to high quality school readiness programs for eligible students.

 

Allows the State Board of Education to administer a home-based technology school readiness program for eligible students;

 

Requires training to early childhood teachers through scholarships and consulting services to assist individuals to complete a Child Development Associate Credential.

 

Requires an independent evaluator to conduct an ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness of high quality school readiness programs. Provides an appropriation to carry out the terms of this bill.

Virginia

HB 47: Establishes the Mixed-Delivery Preschool Services Fund and Grant Program for the purpose of awarding grants on a competitive basis to urban, suburban, and rural community applicants to field-test innovative strategies and evidence-based practices that support a robust system of mixed-delivery preschool services in the Commonwealth.        

Early Childhood Governance and Systems

Lawmakers in four states passed legislation to establish task forces or committees to address specific early childhood issues ranging from school readiness, to child care, to early childhood development, to systems coordination with health care organizations. Bills of note include Minnesota’s legislation (SB 3208) that created a task force to review the shortage of child care in state along with other issues that impact affordability and quality and Virginia HB 46 establishes a school readiness committee to address alignment of their professional development system as well as articulation agreements between associate and baccalaureate programs with the intention to increase accessibility and affordability of the workforce development system.

Governors in Alabama, Idaho and Michigan signed early childhood related executive orders. 

Early Childhood Governance and Systems

STATE

LEGISLATION

Minnesota

SB 3208: Creates a legislative task force on child care to review the shortage of child care providers in the state, assess affordability issues for providers and parents, and identifies areas that need to be addressed by the legislature. Duties may include a review of the current pre-service and in-service training requirements for family child care providers and child care center staff, the availability of training and review the time it takes for the department to provide Child Care Assistance Program reimbursement to providers among other things.

Tennessee SB 2172: Local Education Agencies and schools are authorized and encouraged to form community consortiums with a variety of community partners to establish communities of schools with an integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development and community engagement that will lead to improved student learning, stronger families and healthier communities.

Virginia

HB 46: Establishes the School Readiness Committee to address the development and alignment of an effective professional development and credentialing system for the early childhood education workforce. The committee will consider articulation agreements between associate and baccalaureate degree programs, review of teacher licensure and education programs, including programs offered at comprehensive community colleges, alignment of existing professional development funding streams and development of innovative approaches to increasing accessibility, availability, affordability of the workforce development system. 

 

SJR 88: Directs the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to study specific early childhood development programs, prenatal to age five, in order for the General Assembly to determine the best strategy for future early childhood development investments.

 

Several Executive Orders

Executive Orders

STATE

LEGISLATION

Alabama

EO 16: Establishes the State Every Student Succeeds Act Implementation Committee. Includes an early childhood subcommittee.

 

EO 17: Establishes the Alabama Children's Cabinet to advise the Governor on issues related to Alabama's children.

Idaho

EO 1: Establishes the Early Childhood Coordinating Council.

Michigan EO 18: Creates the PreK-12 Literacy Commission.

Multi-Generational / Early Childhood Services

Legislation included in this category can cover a myriad of early childhood related policies and programs. During the 2016 session Connecticut passed legislation to address the implementation of a two-generation strategy to improve outcomes for children and families, and Delaware passed legislation related to the administering of medical marijuana oil. 

Multi-Generational / Early Childhood Services

STATE

LEGISLATION

Connecticut

SB 5069: Establishes a two-generational school readiness and workforce development pilot program to foster family economic self-sufficiency in low-income households by delivering academic and job readiness support services that include early learning, adult education, child care, housing, job training, transportation, mental health services and financial literacy.

Delaware

SB 181: Allows designated caregivers to possess and administer medical marijuana oil for minor qualifying patients on school buses and on the grounds of the preschool, primary, or secondary school in which the minor qualifying patient is enrolled.

Early Childhood Data Strategies

Over the last decade, states have been developing coordinated state early care and education data systems to help legislators understand and improve the quality of early childhood programs. Five states passed early childhood data bills during the 2016 legislative session. California AB 2799 created a Student Online Personal Information Protected Act to protect student data and limit use of pupil data. Iowa SB 2324 provided an appropriation to develop an integrated data system for various family health and early childhood programs. Washington HB 1541 requires the Department of Early Learning and Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to create a community information and involvement plan to inform home-based, tribal, and family early learning providers of the early achievers program.

Early Childhood Data Strategies

STATE

LEGISLATION

California

AB 1712: Authorizes the Superintendent of Public Instruction to enter into and execute local contractual agreements with any public or private entity or agency for the delivery of child care and development services and allows these contractors to maintain records electronically, and allows the contractors to use a digital signature.     

 

AB 2799: Creates the Student Online Personal Information Protection Act. Prohibits the operator of an internet website, online service, online application, or mobile application that is designed, marketed and used for preschool or prekindergarten purposes, to knowingly engage in specified activities such as engaging in targeted advertising, to amass a student profile or sell or disclose student information with respect to their site, service, or application. The bill also requires an operator to implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices.

Iowa

SB 2324: 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 First Five program.

Maryland

HB 657 (SB 794): Allows the administration of prekindergarten and kindergarten assessments. Requires that statewide assessments be limited to a representative sample of students from within each local school system, and allows for the evaluation of certain skills, knowledge and development.

Missouri

SB 607: Requires the Department of Social Services to procure and enter into a competitively bid contract with a contractor to provide verification of initial and ongoing eligibility data for assistance under the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP), temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) program, child care assistance program and MO HealthNet program. The contractor will conduct quarterly eligibility data matches using the name, date of birth, address and Social Security number of each recipient and on a monthly basis a check for any program participants who have died, moved out of state, or have been incarcerated longer than 90 days. The contractor, upon completing an eligibility data verification, will notify the department of the results. 

 

Establishes a Joint Committee on Public Assistance. The purpose of the committee is for: (1) Studying, monitoring and reviewing the efficacy of the public assistance programs within the state. (2) Determining the level and adequacy of resources needed to continue and improve public assistance programs within the state. (3) Developing recommendations to the general assembly on the public assistance programs within the state and on promoting independence from safety net programs among participants as appropriate. Information collected will be used to project enrollment growth, budgetary matters, trends in childhood poverty and hunger.  

Washington

HB 1541: Adds the Department of Social and Health Services to the list of departments working with the education data center to develop data-sharing and research agreements. Requires the Department of Early Learning, in collaboration with the office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, to create a community information and involvement plan to inform home-based, tribal and family early learning providers of the early achievers program.        

 

Home Visiting and Parenting Education

Research points to the value of supporting good parenting during children’s early years. High-quality home visiting programs have been shown to improve outcomes for children and families, particularly those that face added challenges, such as teen or single parenthood, maternal depression and lack of social and financial supports. Over the last several years states have introduced legislation or provided funding to support home visiting programs. Notable is Rhode Island HB 7220 which establishes the Rhode Island Family Home Visiting Act that requires development of a statewide home visiting system. 

Home Visiting and Parenting Education

STATE

LEGISLATION

Iowa SB 2299: Replaces home visiting programs with evidence-based family support programs for funding priorities for the Early Childhood Iowa Initiative.

New Mexico

SB 6: Appropriates $1.5 million from the general fund to the Children, Youth and Families department for expenditure in fiscal year 2017 and subsequent fiscal years to support home visiting services for the prevention of child abuse.

Rhode Island

HB 7220: Establishes the Rhode Island Family Home Visiting Act. Requires the Department of Health to coordinate the system of early childhood home visiting services, implement a statewide home visiting system that uses evidence-based models proven to improve child and family outcomes, and implement a system to identify and refer families before the child is born or as early after the birth of a child as possible. Requires a state home visiting report to be made available electronically.

Appropriations and Financing

Lawmakers appropriated state and federal funds for existing programs ranging from child care, early literacy, state prekindergarten programs, home visiting and others. Illinois SB 2324 targets funding to programs for children ages birth to three. Nebraska’s legislation (LB 889) creates the School Readiness Tax Credit that benefits early education providers. 

This report does not report on all appropriations bills. However, it does highlight those that contain substantive policy language or focus on a specific program model. NCSL will publish a summary of FY 2016-17 expenditures on early childhood programs including child care, prekindergarten, home visiting, support for infants and toddlers, and other early childhood services. The report is due out at the end of March 2017. 

Appropriations and Financing

STATE

LEGISLATION

Georgia

HB 750: Appropriates funding to provide training, technical assistance and oversight of a prekindergarten program operated by public and private providers throughout the state and to improve the quality of early learning and increase school readiness.

Iowa

SB 2324: Appropriates $500,000 in funding 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 First Five Program.

Illinois

SB 238: Beginning in fiscal year 2016, at least 25 percent of any additional Early Childhood Education Block Grant funding over and above the previous fiscal year's allocation will be used to fund programs for children ages birth to three. Once the percentage of Early Childhood Education Block Grant funding allocated to programs for children ages birth to three reaches 20 percent of the overall Early Childhood Education Block Grant allocation for a full fiscal year, thereafter in subsequent fiscal years the percentage of Early Childhood Education Block Grant funding allocated to programs for children ages birth to 3 each fiscal year will remain at least 20 percent of the overall Block Grant allocation.

Mississippi

HB 1787: Authorizes the Board of Supervisors of Tunica County to contribute funds to the Tunica Head Start Center to operate and maintain a comprehensive early childhood development program. Allows the funds to be used for promoting school readiness including: influencing early learning through planned and spontaneous instruction, implementing learning structures that produce growth in literacy and language, early math and science concepts, and social and emotional development. Provides parental and family support in housing stability, continued education, and financial security.

Nebraska

LB 889: Creates the School Readiness Tax Credit. Allows certain early care and education providers to receive a refundable credit, and allows certain early care and education programs to receive a non-refundable credit. Eligibility for the tax credit applies to early care and education staff who are employed, for at least six months, at an eligible program and who are listed in the Nebraska Early Childhood Professional Record System. Eligible early care and education programs are defined as programs that participate in Step Up to Quality, the state's quality rating and improvement system.

 

LA 889: Appropriates funds to carry out the provisions of the School Readiness Tax Credit Act (LB 889).

New Mexico

SB 6: Appropriates $1,500,000 from the general fund to the Children, Youth and Families department for expenditure in fiscal year 2017 and subsequent fiscal years to support home visiting services for the prevention of child abuse.

Oklahoma

SB 1605: Amends the date from Jan. 1, 2017 to Jan. 1, 2016, for an allowable credit against the tax for eligible expenses incurred by entities primarily engaged in the business of providing child care services. No credit otherwise authorized may be claimed for any event, transaction, investment, expenditure or other act occurring on or after Jan. 1, 2016, for which the credit would otherwise be allowable.         

This report 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 and updated and revised by NCSL. This report is intended to provide an overview of significant enacted legislation in each state. It does not represent a comprehensive list of enacted bills and does not include all early care and education legislative enactments. 

This document does not contain 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.

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