Early Care and Education


Teacher with young children

Early Childhood Policy Overview

State legislatures play a significant role in setting priorities and expectations for state agencies, allocating funding and overseeing state-administered early care and education programs and services. This page summarizes many of the most pressing early care and education policy topics.


NCSL magazine

Policymakers, Infants and Toddlers

In this new magazine article NCSL staff highlight five key things about infants and toddlers. The article explains to policymakers why this period is critical and discusses the impact of the pandemic.  

Save The Date 2021


Early Care and Education


new born baby with mom and dad

State Actions on Paid Family Leave

Employee leave benefits generally fall into four categories: parental, family care, medical and sick leave. This brief explores paid family leave and the child development case.


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Pandemic Impact on Early Childhood

Since the beginning of April, the Rapid Assessment of Pandemic Impact on Development–Early Childhood (RAPID-EC) team has been collecting weekly surveys from over 1,000 households across the country with children ages birth to 5. The survey asks about everything from finances, health care, caregivers’ well-being and children’s emotional well-being and behaviors.


ncsl report

ECE State Budget Actions FY 2020

This report provides an overview of states’ budget and appropriations in early care and education. Appropriations for child care increased the most of the four survey categories (23.5%), followed by home visiting (7.8%) and prekindergarten initiatives (3.7%). Funding for other early care and education initiatives increased for some states but remained consistent from FY 2019 to FY 2020 overall for those 24 states.


ncsl database

Early Care and Education Legislation

This database tracks and updates early care and education legislation from the 2008-2021 legislative sessions for the 50 states and the territories. Search by state, topic, status, primary sponsor, bill number or keyword.