The NCSL Blog


By Meghan McCann

DID YOU KNOW: Most early childhood programs with rigorous evaluations—home visiting, parent education, early care and education, health related visits, food and child care subsidies—have been shown to improve child outcomes and, among the programs with an economic evaluation, largely pay for themselves with a return on investment of $2 to $4 for every dollar spent. A recent Rand Corporation study, Investing Early: Taking Stock of Outcomes and Economic Returns from Early Childhood Programs, provides more information. 

boy jumpingNCSL’s Children and Families Program covers many human services issues, including child support and family law, child welfare, early care and education, welfare and poverty. For more about our program and contact information for issue specialists, see our Program Profile.

Publications from Children and Families

NCSL’s Children and Families Program continues to provide up-to-date information and resources through our legislative tracking databases and quarterly newsletters, in addition to policy briefs and technical assistance.


NCSL’s Children and Families Program tracks legislation on child support and family law, early care and education, and child welfare in three databases. The Early Education and Child Care Bill Tracking Database and Child Support and Family Law Legislation Database are updated weekly with the latest introduced legislation. The Child Welfare Enacted Legislation Database is updated twice a year with the latest legislative enactments.


 We also provide brief overviews of the various topics we cover in our 101 series:


 For the latest NCSL publications, national reports and research, and news from across the country, sign up for one of our quarterly newsletters by contacting Alison May or Meghan McCann. You can also see our latest issues here:

NCSL Offers Technical Assistance (TA), but what is TA?

NCSL technical assistance is designed in consultation with legislators and staff. NCSL staff can assist you with identifying state innovations, in asking the right questions to understand what would work best in your state or learning about what other states are doing. We have 50-state charts and maps to show the different policies across the country. We publish issue briefs and legislative summaries.   

We can also travel to your state to help you solve the most pressing issues by testifying before a committee or convening a meeting of stakeholders. We also provide opportunities for you to meet the experts in the field as well as opportunities to talk with your peers from across the country on how they tackled today’s tough issues in their legislatures. We host meetings and workshops, and convene teams of state leaders to spend a day or two diving deep into specific policy issues. Here are a few common examples:

  • Presentations, informal briefings, and testimony before committees and hearings.
  • Written research and analyses.  
  • Assisting with drafting and reviewing legislation.
  • Informal conference calls with legislators and legislative staff in other states to discuss their experiences with early childhood.

Be sure to call 303-364-7700 or email the Children and Families Program if you are interested in learning about how NCSL can help you and your state.

Meghan McCann is a senior policy specialist with NCSL’s Children and Families Program. She covers child support, child welfare and family law issues.

Email Meghan

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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.