The NCSL Blog


By Alison May

NCSL is building an array of resources to help legislators address the impact of the coronavirus. Resources include webinars, podcasts, blog posts, resource guides, issue summaries and more—all addressing the range of policy issues now, or soon to be, in front of legislatures. Take a peek and check back frequently; information updates daily.

NCSL COVID-19 Resources

Register Now | April 24 Webinar | COVID-19: Housing and Homelessness

HUD secretary Ben CarsonAmid the COVID-19 pandemic and in anticipation of a significant economic downturn, housing, homelessness and youth homelessness are issues likely to require the attention of state lawmakers. Register now to hear experts from NCSL, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the National Council of State Housing Agencies and SchoolHouse Connection discuss provisions in the federal CARES Act and how states are responding to the crisis. HUD Secretary Ben Carson is expected to speak.

NCSL Podcast | COVID-19: State and Federal Responses to Education and Child Care 
NCSL's podcast series, "Our American States," recently explored how the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted schools and child care and how state and federal governments are responding. Listen as NCSL’s Jennifer Palmer explains how this crisis has exacerbated challenges present in the child care system before the pandemic and what states are doing to shore up an already strained system.

Child Welfare System COVID-19 Resources
NCSL is tracking developments and cataloging informational resources related to COVID-19’s impact on four aspects of the child welfare system. The resource guides address the pandemic’s impact on child welfare caseworkers, congregate care facilities, foster and kinship caregivers, and older youth in the child welfare system. The guides include issue summaries, guidance for legislators, summaries of federal activity and examples of how states are responding. NCSL will update these resources as new information becomes available, so check back often.

Archived Webinar | COVID-19: Education, Child Care and Nutrition
Most states have closed K-12 schools, and colleges and universities have shifted to online classes, sending students home in many cases. Guidance and directives to child care programs have been mixed, forcing providers to choose between risking their own health if they remain open or going without income if they close. These decisions can adversely affect parents who take off work to care for their child, as well as young children and students who rely on child care providers and schools for meals. As a result, state and school officials are grappling with how to ensure young children and students of all ages are safe, fed and learning. Watch the archived webinar as NCSL experts explore public policies in these critical areas.

Other NCSL Resources

State Legislatures Magazine | Do Preschool Expulsions Need a Timeout?
Recent data on how often young children in child care and preschool classrooms are suspended or expelled has sounded alarm bells for policymakers across the country. In this State Legislatures magazine article learn about the topic and what two Colorado legislators are doing to address the situation.

Newsletter | Child Support Digest
In this edition find NCSL’s summary of 2019 enacted legislation, a new report on behavioral interventions for child support services and a 2019 report on the effectiveness of child support enforcement tools.

LegisBrief | Governing Early Childhood Education

As the demand for high-quality child care and early education grows, policymakers are rethinking the way these programs are structured. By consolidating, creating or coordinating oversight bodies, they seek to improve the quality and efficacy of services, address infrastructure needs and improve program reach. Read the LegisBrief.

Prenatal-to-Three Legislative Action
In 2019, NCSL tracked 129 prenatal-to-three bills enacted in 34 states and the District of Columbia. This report summarizes significant 2019 legislative enactments in the following categories: breastfeeding, home visiting and parent education, maternal mental health, infant and maternal mortality, neonatal abstinence syndrome and newborn screenings.

NCSL’s Children and Families Program covers many human services issues, including child support and family law, child welfare, early care and education, economic security, housing and homelessness. For more, visit NCSL's Human Services page.

Alison May is a policy associate with NCSL’s Children and Families Program. She covers early care and education issues.  

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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.