Early Care and Education State Budget Actions FY 2020

9/1/2020

ncsl report

Summary of Findings

This report provides an overview of states’ budget and appropriations in early care and education. NCSL sent surveys to 50 state legislative fiscal offices regarding state appropriations for early care and education programs—including child care, prekindergarten, home visiting and any additional early childhood initiatives—for fiscal years 2018, 2019 and 2020. Twenty-four states completed the survey, though not all states completed all sections of the survey.

Overall, appropriations, blending both federal and state dollars, for early care and education across responding states increased by 12.8% ($76,910,116) from FY 2019 to FY 2020. Appropriations increased across three of the four categories—child care, prekindergarten and home visiting. They remained stable for the fourth category, additional early childhood initiatives. Below is a summary of findings for each category:

Child care appropriations increased for 20 of the 23 states that responded to the survey (one state did not respond to this section of the survey). Increased federal Child Care and Development Funds (CCDF) were the primary driver for additional appropriations in the states with the largest overall budget percentage growth. Two states reported decreased funding, and one state reported stable funding from FY 2019 to FY 2020.

Prekindergarten appropriations increased for 15 of the 22 states that responded to the survey (two states did not respond to this section of the survey). The sources of these funding increases varied across states. Six states reported decreased funding, and one state reported stable funding from FY 2019 to FY 2020.

Home visiting appropriations increased for 14 of the 21 states that responded to the survey (three states did not respond to this section of the survey). States with the largest overall budget percentage growth reported the largest increases in Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) and general funding. Five states reported decreased funding, and two states reported stable funding from FY 2019 to FY 2020.

Appropriations for other early care and education initiatives (e.g., wage supplements for the early childhood workforce, programs and services for children younger than 3 and preschool-aged children with special needs and developmental delays) increased for 12 of the 19 states that responded to the survey (five states did not respond to this section of the survey). Increased state appropriations were the primary driver of increased funding in the states with the largest overall state budget increases in this category. Five states reported decreased funding, and two states reported stable funding from FY 2019 to FY 2020.

Acknowledgment

NCSL thanks the state legislative staff who put forth the time and effort to complete the surveys that make this report possible, especially given the additional strain of the COVID-19 pandemic that inevitably affected work across the country. Their help is sincerely appreciated.

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