Early Care and Education E-Update – Summer 2013

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Resources of Interest

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Early Care and Education State Budget Actions FY 2013

Young Boy Playing with Wood BlocksNCSL surveyed 21 state legislative fiscal offices on their FY 2013 state appropriations for various early care and education programs in December 2012. Overall, state appropriations to early care and education increased slightly by $127 million (1.5 percent). Although several states continued to struggle to restore cuts from the previous years, others continued to make small but consistent increases in various early care and education budgets.

Key findings from the survey and report:

  • Child care reductions were less pronounced compared to previous years. Overall state appropriations for child care decreased by $60 million (1.1 percent) in FY 2013. While the overall decrease is consistent with funding levels in recent years, FY 2013 reductions occurred in seven of the 21 states surveyed, compared to 17 states in FY 2012.
  • Prekindergarten continues to rebound with fewer severe reductions. Fewer states cut funding for prekindergarten in FY 2013, and in states that did, reductions were less severe. Overall, state appropriations for prekindergarten increased by $65.6 million (2.8 percent). This upward trend should continue into FY 2014, since several states enacted new policy or budgetary actions during 2013 legislative sessions.
  • Home visiting budgets expanded by combining federal and state resources. In the 21 surveyed states, federal funds comprised 45 percent of all the resources for state home visiting in FY2013. Although the federal Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program grants—scheduled to end in FY 2014—contributed to this influx of resources, states continued to support home visiting programs through general funds, public-private partnerships, and other earmarked state revenue. In FY 2013, state appropriations for home visiting increased by $48.9 million (16.8 percent).


State Legislative Actions in Early Care and Education 2013 Preliminary Summary

Young Children Laying in a Circle on GrassDuring the 2013 legislative sessions, state lawmakers in 49 different states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico introduced more than 650 bills on early care and education. Of those, more than 150 bills have been signed into law in 38 states and Puerto Rico. Approximately 20 legislative resolutions have also been adopted in more than 10 states during the 2013 session. The full NCSL Report on Early Care and Education – 2013 State Legislative Action will be available in fall/winter 2013.


Read the State Legislative Actions in Early Care and Education 2013 Preliminary Summary.

NCSL Early Learning Fellows Continue Year of Work Together

Early Learning Fellows LogoOn July 9, 2013 NCSL’s Early Learning Fellows were invited to participate in a webinar entitled The Correlation between Executive Function and Achievement: Implications for ECE Policy. This was the first of two webinars offered to current and past fellows. During the 60 minute webinar Deborah Leong, Ph.D., expanded on her May 2nd Early Learning Fellows presentation that discussed the relationship between executive function/self-regulation and learning in the early childhood classroom. In addition, Miriam Calderon followed Leong’s presentation by leading a discussion on the policy issues that arise from the research on the importance of executive function and achievement. For those interested in learning more you can view the full webinar here. The final webinar in the series will be in September and will feature Dr. Jack Shonkoff, director, at the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. Then the 33 state legislators selected to participate as NCSL Early Learning Fellows will meet for a final meeting December 6 and 7 during NCSL’s 2013 Fall Forum in Washington, D.C.

The Fellows program will conitnue for a third year in 2014. The process of selection will include being nominated by leadership in your state, completing and submitting an application from which final candidates will be selected. Should you be interested in additional information please contact Alison.May@ncsl.org. The Fellows program is funded by a grant from the Alliance for Early Success. For more informaiton, please visit www.ncsl.org/fellows.

State Policy Highlight – State Approaches in Home Visiting through 2013 Enacted Legislation

During the 2013 legislative session, twelve states enacted legislation to formalize home visiting state services and funding. While most states adopted common language around definitions and criteria for programs and services and included provisions to ensure interagency collaboration and accountability reporting, several states provided some unique approaches.

  • Arkansas SB 491 (Act 528) includes a provision that prohibits the state from compelling parentsto participate in services, hindering parents’ ability to withdraw from services, or considering withdrawal from services as grounds for child well-being state investigations.
  • Colorado lawmakers authorized the expansion of center- and home-based Early Head Start services for infants, toddlers and pregnant mothers by enacting HB 1291 (Chapter 363) and creating the Infant and Toddler Quality and Availability Grant Program Fund.
  • New Mexico SB 365 (Chapter 118) does not require the state to prioritize funding based on evidence-based or promising practice criteria but instead allows the Department of Children, Youth and Families to fund programs that can demonstrate two or more of the nine outlined state home visiting objectives.
  • Kentucky’s HB 366 (Act 57) excludes home visits conducted as part of a domestic violence or substance abuse intervention from the state definition of home visiting.
  • Texas SB 426 (Chapter 421) provides specific language to require home visiting to address early childhood adverse experiences that can lead to long-term consequences such as poverty, low parental education, poor maternal health, and parental underemployment or unemployment.

Additional enacted bills related to home visiting or services for infants, toddlers and pregnant women in 2013 include:

  • Arkansas HB 1111, Act No. 62
  • California SB 602, Chapter 60
  • Colorado SB 89, Chapter 422 SB 100, Chapter 433 HB 1180, Chapter 200 HB 1181, Chapter 74
  • Connecticut SB 972, Public Act 178 SB 1002, Public Act 64
  • Montana HB 4, Chapter 294
  • Nebraska LB 194
  • New Mexico SB 297, Chapter 25
  • Texas SB 1836, Chapter 820 HB 2620, Chapter 1021
  • Vermont SB 156, Act 66

NCSL Legislative Summit Wrap Up, August 12-15, 2013

Here is a recap of and links to more information on this year’s exciting Early Care and Education sessions at Legislative Summit in Atlanta. Meeting resources are available on the web HERE.

  • Driving Science-Based Innovation to Strengthen the Foundations of Lifelong Learning, Behavior, and Health: Dr. Jack Shonkoff, director of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University spoke to a packed audience on August 13 about recent advances in neuroscience, molecular biology, and genomics that now help us better understand why healthy development in the early years provides the building blocks for educational achievement, economic productivity and lifelong health. A great discussion followed from Washington and Georgia policymakers on the policy implications across many sectors including early education, child welfare, family support and health. The session drew considerable attention and included over 150 attendees. Click HERE to view Dr. Shonkoff’s presentation and click HERE to see coverage of the session in Youth Today.
  • Educare of Atlanta Tour: In collaboration with Educare of Atlanta center, NCSL hosted a site visit on August 14 to this nationally recognized school. Educare Atlanta is operated by Sheltering Arms Early Education & Family Centers, in partnership with The Annie E. Casey Foundation and Atlanta Public Schools. The tour was enthusiastically attended by over 35 legislators, staff, and community partners. Click HERE to view Atlanta NPR’s story about the tour.

Resources of Interest

Championing Success:  Business Organizations for Early Childhood Investments
Source:  ReadyNation - 2013
ReadyNation in partnership with the American Chamber of Commerce Executives, released the findings from a new survey that examined business support of early childhood policies in the U.S. Read the full report.

Feature: Wolf Trap Institute Unites the Arts and STEM in Early Childhood Learning
Source:  U.S. Department of Education – May 17, 2013
One of the most important goals at the Wolf Trap Early Childhood STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Learning Through the Arts program is having an innovative approach to learning. Read the full article here.
2013 KIDS COUNT Data Book
Source:  The Annie E. Casey Foundation – June 2013
The 2013 KIDS COUNT Data Book is a yearly publication including national and state-by-state data on key indicators of child well-being. There are four key indicators:  economic well-being, education, health and family and community.  Read the book here.

State Updates:  Early Care and Education
Source:  NWLC – June 2013
As most states gradually begin to recover economically after several years in which their budgets were under tremendous strain, a number of the states are taking this opportunity to make or consider new investments in early care and education. Read the full fact sheet.

WATCH:  Are We Crazy About Our Kids?
Source:   The Raising of America – June 2013
This 32-minute video is one of the episodes to the forthcoming documentary series, The Raising of America:  Early Childhood and the Future of Our Nation. Science has demonstrated that a child’s experiences during the earliest years are vital to building the foundation for life-long success – in school and in life. Now economists are studying the costs and benefits of high quality early care and preschool.  View the video here.

Preparing the Children of Immigrants for Early Academic Success
Source:  Migration Policy Institute – July 2013
Evidence points to an immigrant paradox in education. Data on the performance of children entering elementary school is more mixed, then their high school counterparts. Read the full report here.

Reaching Children at Risk with a New Look at State Data
Source:  Child Trends – July 2013
In this new era of data-based decision making, a few states and the District of Columbia are using a unique strategy for mapping both the need and use of services designed to reach vulnerable young children and their families. Read more here.

Click to view the Summer 2013 E-update as a PDF

Outside links are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement by NCSL.

This e-update is made possible by the generous support of the Alliance for Early Success. This e-update is an informational service for state legislators and legislative staff who are part of NCSL's Child Care and Early Education Legislative Network. Contact Alison May for more information at 303-856-1473 or to offer information from your state.  You may also request to subscribe, if you are a legislator or legislative staff, or unsubscribe by emailing Alison.May@ncsl.org.