The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) is pleased to continue facilitating an intensive Early Learning Fellows program for state legislators and staff. States have been leading efforts to improve the quality of child care, implementing preschool and innovative ways to support families with young children across the age spectrum from birth to kindergarten and into the early grades. They are also addressing challenges with governance, financing, data systems and teacher training/professional development. Scientific and evaluation research provide new insights into both child development and programs that are showing results. Federal initiatives, such as the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge and the federal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting, will boost early childhood and home visiting funds in the coming years. We are pleased to offer a legislative fellows program to legislators and legislative staff at no cost. Most travel expenses for the program are being paid through a grant from the Alliance for Early Success.
On this page you will find all information related to the third round of Early Learning Fellows.
Class 3 (2014)
Meet the Fellows, Faculty and NCSL Staff | Photo Roster
Representative Kathy Coleman, Wyoming
Representative Terri Collins, Alabama
Senator Tanya Cook, Nebraska
Senator Michael E. Dembrow, Oregon
Representative Laura V. Hall, Alabama
Representative Dan Huberty, Texas
Representative Patrick O. Jefferson, Louisiana
Representative Edith (Edie) McClafferty, Montana
Representative Jeanette M. Nuñez, Florida
Representative H. Marlene O’Toole, Florida
Representative Alice H. Peisch, Massachusetts
Representative Harlie Eugene “Gene” Reynolds, Louisiana
Representative Tana Senn, Washington
Representative Milo Smith, Indiana
Assemblymember Michaelle C. Solages, New York
Representative Sherrie L. Sprenger, Oregon
Senator Kate Sullivan, Nebraska
Representative Jessica Vega Pederson, Oregon
Representative Maureen Walsh, Washington
Senator, Speaker Pro Tempore Bo Watson, Tennessee
Kelly Klundt, fiscal analyst, New Mexico
David Mandell, special advisor on early childhood to the Speaker of the House, Oregon
Padraic McCracken, legislative research analyst, Montana
W. Steven Barnett, director, National Institute for Early Education Research
Sarah Daily, senior research scientist, Child Trends
Tom Schultz, program director, Council of Chief State School Officers
Jack P. Shonkoff, director, Center on the Developing Child - Harvard University
Jennifer Stedron, senior program manager, Ascend at The Aspen Institute
Amanda Szekely, senior policy analyst, National Governors Association
Albert Wat, senior policy analyst, National Governors Association
NCSL Staff (Denver Office)
Robyn Lipkowitz, program director, Children and Families Program
Alison May, staff coordinator, Children and Families Program
Phuonglan Nguyen, policy specialist, Children and Families Program
Julie Poppe, program manager, Children and Families Program
Kick Off Meeting | Denver, May 15-16, 2014
The Fellows program kicked off with the Policy, Research & Innovation in Early Learning meeting in Denver May 15-16, 2014.
||Thursday, May 15, 2014 (1st Floor • Ballroom A/B)
Building a Foundation for Achievement: How Early Experiences Shape Brain Architecture
Introduction: Julie Poppe, National Conference of State Legislatures
Legislative Governance Examples in Early Childhood
Moderator: Julie Poppe, National Conference of State Legislatures
Home Visiting: A Legislative Primer
Moderator/Presenter: Robyn Lipkowitz, National Conference of State Legislatures [presentation]
Pay for Success: Innovative Financing to Support Early Childhood Programs
Moderator: John Grossman, Third Sector Capital Partners, Massachusetts
Friday, May 16, 2014 (1st Floor • Ballroom A/B)
Educare Tour and Site Visit - Clayton Early Learning
Introduction: Phuonglan Nguyen, National Conference of State Legislatures
- Charlotte Brantley, Clayton Early Learning [handout]
Two Generation Strategies: The Potential for Early Childhood Programs to Support Children and Parents Together
Moderator: Jennifer Stedron, Ascend, Aspen Institute [presentation]
Second Meeting | Minneapolis, Aug. 18-19, 2014
The Fellows program had a second face to face meeting in Minneapolis Aug. 18-19, 2014 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
|Monday, Aug. 18, 2014: Day 1 / Mezzanine Level : M100-FG
The Economic Case for Investing in Early Childhood: How to Sustain Positive Gains in Young Children
Introduction: Representative Joe Mullery, Minnesota
Public and Private Partnerships for Early Childhood
Some states have leveraged the resources and expertise of private businesses and foundations in furthering early childhood education programs and services in their states while achieving better outcomes for young children. The session will highlight two state perspectives of partnering with the private sector. Hear about how pay-for-success approaches can be used in conjunction with social impact financing tools to engage the investment community in your state to make progress in addressing early childhood issues.
Moderator: Julie Poppe, National Conference of State Legislatures
Backgrounder: Public-Private Partnerships by the Ounce of Prevention Fund
Jeremiah Program Site Visit
Sponsor: Annie E. Casey Foundation
The Jeremiah Program provides single mothers and their children with a safe and affordable place to live, quality early childhood education, life skills training and support for career-tracked, adult education. A tour of the Jeremiah Campus and Child Development Center will also demonstrate ways that two-generation programs such as this address family and child needs as well as work to reduce generational dependence on public assistance. A policy discussion following the tour will deepen the understanding of the intersection between healthy child development, adult education and workforce development, and state policy initiatives.
Introduction: Rochelle Finzel, National Conference of State Legislatures
Two-Generation Approach Fact Sheet by the Annie E. Casey Foundation
|Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014: Day 2 / Mezzanine Level : M100-FG
Math in the Early Years
Children’s knowledge of math in the early years is a strong predictor of not only later math achievement but also of later literacy. Learn about the foundational building blocks of early mathematics and their importance for young learners. Hear about recent research and development work, including highlights from recent national reports on early math. These featured one effective instructional approach — basing standards, curricula, and instruction on learning trajectories. Clements will conclude by drawing implications for policy.
Moderator: Tom Schultz, Council of Chief State School Officers
State Child Care Policies and Quality
Quality child care is a critical component for low-income families to find and maintain work and it also supports the child development needs of very young children. Hear a presentation of child care subsidy flexibility, an update on state child care policies, and highlights from a recent study on quality improvements for child care centers serving low-income working families.
Moderator: Robyn Lipkowitz, National Conference of State Legislatures
CCDBG: What’s in the Law? by CLASP
Child Care Assistance: Helping Parents Work and Children Succeed by CLASP
Pivot Point State Child Care Assistance Policies 2013 by NWLC
Over the course of the Fellows program two webinars will take place, each webinar will have experts speaking about key issues related to early learning.
Webinar 1: State Prekindergarten Programs: A Decade of Progress / Tuesday, June 24, 2014 at 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT
This webinar is the first of two webinars specifically designed for the Early Learning Fellows. Over a quarter of America’s 4-year-olds currently participate in a state-funded preschool program. Hear from Steve Barnett with the National Institute for Early Education Research about the key findings from the annual State Preschool Yearbook. He will highlight the data and national trends for enrollment in, quality of, and spending on state-funded preschool programs. Learn about the decade of progress since the first Yearbook collected data on the 2001-2002 school year and the opportunities for improvements in quality and availability. There will be time set aside for questions and discussion.
Speakers: W. Steven Barnett, Ph.D., Director, National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University.
Webinar 2: Dual Language Learners: The Latest Social & Emotional Research
Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2013, at 2 p.m. ET/ 1 p.m. CT/ Noon MT/ 11 a.m. PT
This webinar is the second of two webinars specifically designed for the Early Learning Fellows. The demographics of the United States are changing. Along with this change is an increase in the number of children considered Dual Language Learners (DLL) in early care and education programs. There are a number of states that have experienced two-fold growth of dual language learners during the previous two decades. Learn about the latest in social and emotional development research of dual language learners, which can provide useful guidance for lawmakers when considering policies and understanding practices for young DLL children. There will be time set aside for questions and discussion.
Speakers: Tamara Halle, senior research scientist and co-program area director, Early Childhood Research at Child Trends
*Learn more about other NCSL sponsored webinars HERE.
Early Learning Fellows Legislative Corner
As a way to keep all Fellows connected with one another and to highlight the terrific work being done in your state. NCSL staff will periodically highlight a Fellow and the work they are doing.
If you have something to share please be sure to email Alison May.