Read a rundown on the top public policy issues facing state lawmakers in 2015, state-private sector partnerships for infrastructure, e-cigarettes and taxes and dealing with cuts to mental health programs.
Every quarter the Early Care and Education E-update is created as an information service for state legislators and legislative staff who are part of NCSL's Child Care and Early Education Legislative Network. Outside links are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement by NCSL. This e-update is made possible by the generous support of the Alliance for Early Success.
Contact Alison May for more information at 303-856-1473 or to offer information from your state. You may also request to subscribe, if you are a legislator or legislative staff, or unsubscribe by emailing Alison.May@ncsl.org.
The second class of NCSL Early Learning Fellows will wrap up the program with a final meeting Dec. 6-7, 2013 in Washington, D.C. The final meeting, Building on State Leadership in Early Childhood, promises to be an opportunity to continue learning while also affording Fellows a chance to reflect on recent accomplishments related to early education and child care and plan for the upcoming 2014 legislative session. Some meeting highlights include a dynamic presentation from Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, well known early literacy researcher with Temple University, a discussion about the connection between early learning guidelines and K-12, as well as innovative financing strategies, including the latest outcomes of the school readiness tax credits in Louisiana.
Information, including presentations from the final meeting, will be posted by the middle of December 2013. The Fellows program will continue for a third year in 2014. The selection process will include legislative leadership nominations in your state, with nominated legislators and staff completing and submitting an application from which final candidates will be selected. The selection process will begin in early February 2014 with a kick off meeting taking place mid-May 2014 in Denver, Colo. For additional information about the Fellows program please be sure to visit www.ncsl.org/fellows or contact Julie.Poppe@ncsl.org or Alison.May@ncsl.org. The Fellows program is funded by a grant from the Alliance for Early Success.
State lawmakers play a unique role in shaping policies that contribute to the well-being of young, vulnerable children and their families. State lawmakers continued to build on existing state policy and efforts to ensure that children are cared for in safe, nurturing, stimulating, and high-quality home- and community-based settings in addition to providing support for families to achieve economic and family stability.
During the 2013 legislative session, lawmakers in 23 states enacted more than 60 bills to address various components of quality in child care settings. In some cases, lawmakers incorporated legislative language to encourage a stronger emphasis on early childhood development.
Provisions in Enacted Bills to Improve Child Care Quality
State lawmakers addressed child care assistance and subsidy policies to improve access to and affordability of quality child care. Based on a recent survey and report by the National Women’s Law Center, income eligibility for child care was raised in nearly half of the states and waitlists for child care were reduced in more than three-fifths of the states. However, families in nearly half the states continued to struggle with high copays in 2013, ranging from six to 15 percent of their monthly income, according to the report. In addition, only five states allow parents to keep their child care eligibility when they lose a job and fewer than 15 states allow parents to continue receiving assistance while they are looking for employment. Lawmakers in 15 states enacted about 20 bills to address child care assistance policy.
Provisions in Enacted Bills to Address Child Care Assistance and Subsidy State Policy
For the most up-to-date status of state legislation, please visit the Early Care and Education database or click here. The full NCSL 2013 State Legislative Action in Early Care and Education report will be available in December 2013.
NCSL’s annual Fall Forum and Meeting of the Standing Committees will take place in Washington, D.C., Dec. 4 – 6, 2013. The Fall Forum is the meeting where NCSL Standing Committees meet to discuss policy and set the agenda for the states. The NCSL Standing Committees are composed of legislators and legislative staff who are appointed by the state legislative leadership. The committees are the main organizational mechanism for serving NCSL members. There are eight committees that deal with both state and state-federal issues. The jurisdictions of the standing committees are similar to those of committees in the state legislatures. Forum attendees have the opportunity to discuss policy with national experts, work on pressing issues as part of NCSL’s standing committees, advocate for the states on Lobby Day and participate in special briefings developed for legislative staff. Learn more about the meeting agenda and sessions by clicking here.
After 18 months of planning, NCSL successfully launched its new website on Oct. 21. The goals of the redesign were to make NCSL’s new website more intuitive and easier to use and search. We think the goals have been met, but want to hear what you think. For those who have not yet had an opportunity to tour the new site we invite you do so by visiting www.ncsl.org.
The NCSL website continues to aim to be the best legislative website. As a user of the new site you will notice a strong search engine, easier navigation and quick access to thousands of documents. Enjoy! And please be sure to share your feedback with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Center for Research on Children in the U.S. (CROCUS) – July 2013
A policy brief on different population groups to understand if middle-class families benefit from the program. Read the full brief.
Source: National Council of La Raza (NCLR) – Summer 2013
On August 29th NCLR led a webinar to demonstrate their Latino Kids Data Explorer, a web-based research tool that helps users easily download and creatively present up-to-date information on the status of Latino children in their state and nationally. View the full webinar or access the Data Explorer.
Source: CLASP – August 2013
A new report provides a national picture of infant-toddler child care policies and finds that, collectively, states could be doing far better meeting the needs of our youngest children and their families. Read the full report.
Source: ZERO TO THREE – August 2013
The ZERO TO THREE Policy Center recently released updated State Baby Fact Sheets, which tell the story about infants and toddlers in each state. Read the fact sheets.
Source: Peabody Research Institute of Vanderbilt University & Tennessee Division of School Readiness and Early Learning- August 2013
This multi-year evaluation looks at the effects of Tennessee’s state funded prekindergarten program (TN-VPK) for four-year olds. TN-VPK targets mostly low-income and at-risk children. The study was designed to determine whether the children who participate in TN-VPK make greater academic and behavioral gains in areas that prepare them for later schooling than comparable children who do not participate in the program. For the evaluation findings to date click here.
Parent Engagement from Preschool through Grade 3: A Guide for Policymakers
Source: National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) – September 2013
The term "parent engagement" is used in this report to describe parents' efforts to promote their children's healthy development and learning through activities that can be encouraged by educators in child care, preschool and school settings. The report makes the case that effective parent engagement in children's learning during preschool through grade 3 is a key contributor to children's positive academic outcomes. Read the full report.
Source: NGA - October 2013
Improving early literacy is essential to increasing high school graduation rates allowing students to be successful in postsecondary education and ensuring the prosperity of all Americans, according to a report released by the National Governors Association (NGA). Read the full report.
Investing in our Future: The Evidence Base on Preschool Education
Source: Society for Research in Child Development and Foundation for Child Development - October 2013
This research brief reviews rigorous evidence on why early skills matter, which children benefit from preschool, the short- and long-term effects of preschool programs on children’s school readiness and life outcomes, the importance of program quality, and the costs versus benefits of preschool education. Read the full brief.
Click to view the Fall 2013 E-update as a PDF
Outside links are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement by NCSL.
This e-update is made possible by the generous support of the Alliance for Early Success. This e-update is an informational service for state legislators and legislative staff who are part of NCSL's Child Care and Early Education Legislative Network. Contact Alison May for more information at 303-856-1473 or to offer information from your state. You may also request to subscribe, if you are a legislator or legislative staff, or unsubscribe by emailing Alison.May@ncsl.org.
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