The NCSL Blog


By Alison May

The final webinar in NCSL's Early Care and Education series will focus on policy options and strategies to effectively serve preschool through third grade students who are still mastering their native language while also learning English.

Child with blocksRegister and join us at 2 p.m. ET Thursday to hear dual language learner policy expert Janie T. Carnock from the think tank New America, Danielle Winterhalter, former chief of staff for state Representative Joe Gallegos (D-Ore.) and current NCSL Early Learning Fellow and House education chair Representative John “Bam” Carney (R-Ky).

Missed webinars in the series during April, May, June or July? Fear not as you can read more about them below and access an archived copy at any time.

Our project covers myriad policy topics including early childhood literacy, prekindergarten and school readiness, brain science and research, child care topics such as subsidy, access and quality, and funding to name a few. This webinar series is geared toward our legislative audience and is appropriate for new and experienced members.

During last month’s webinar NCSL was joined by Steve Barnett and Allison H. Friedman-Krauss from the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) highlighting their key findings from the annual State Preschool Yearbook. NIEER has been collecting data since 2001 and during the webinar shared the data and national trends of state preschool programs focusing on quality and access, and the latest state spending numbers.

The webinar also featured legislative respondent Senator Brice Wiggins (R-Miss.). Wiggins offered thoughtful comments about his experience with prekindergarten efforts in his state, along with some of the successes and challenges he and his colleagues have faced in Mississippi.

Earlier this summer NCSL discussed the topic of data and linking early childhood and K-12 data to help states know whether policies and programs successfully transition children from early childhood to the classroom and get them ready for school. During the webinar representatives from the Early Childhood Data Collaborative and Data Quality Campaign explained how state legislators and policymakers can support the linkage and use of early childhood and K-12 data to inform policy and improve child outcomes. The presentation focused on seven key areas for implementation and also provided state examples for each, including: stakeholder engagement; data governance; privacy, security and transparency; linking, matching and sharing; data access and use; data quality; and state capacity.

In May the webinar looked at adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) offering an overview by NCSL staff and state examples to mitigate these experiences. ACEs are stressful or traumatic experiences such as abuse, neglect and household challenges during childhood that increase risk for many negative health and well-being outcomes later in life. The webinar also included state examples, noting that in 2017, at least 38 bills were introduced in at least 18 states specifically mentioning ACEs. Both Representative Ann Pugh (D-Vt.) and Representative Joan Ballweg (R-Wis.) highlighted how each of their states is currently tackling ACEs.

The Early Care and Education webinar series kicked off in April with an informative webinar Brain Science: Interventions and Policy Implications for Serving Parents and Children featuring Sarah Watamura, Ph.D., from the University of Denver. Watamura highlighted the latest brain research and the science behind the critical development taking place during the early years. Access the archived version and slide deck on our website.

Alison May is a staff coordinator in NCSL’s Children and Families program.

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About the NCSL Blog

This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.