NCSL Early Care and Education Quarterly E-Update



Recent NCSL Early Care and Education Publications

NCSL’s Early Care and Education project periodically hosts webinars, creates new reports, new webpages and pens articles. Here are some of the recent products that might be helpful and relevant to the work you do. 

Magazine Article
Early Care and Education staff wrote Who’s Watching the Kids in the October/November 2016 edition of the NCSL award winning State Legislatures magazine. The article discusses some of the struggles low-income parents face related to losing child care assistance as they receive raises or promotions. 

Updated Web Page | Early Childhood 101
Recently updated 101 webpage provides a broad overview of important and newly emerging policy topics related to early care and education. A Nov. 14 blog post highlights the page updates. 

Archived Webinar | The Costly Consequences of Not Being Socially and Behaviorally Ready by Kindergarten
Sept. 15, 2016 webinar presented new research from the Baltimore Education Research Consortium on child readiness for kindergarten. Presenters Deborah Gross and Amie Bettencourt shared findings from their study. The webinar also included specific information about what Colorado is doing to mitigate the negative effects associated with poor social emotional development and the policy options and innovative solutions they are using to promote healthy development. View the webinar and PowerPoint presentation on our website, and read a blog post for a summary. 

Archived Webinar | Advancing Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health
Research tells us that children’s earliest experiences impact their brain development which in turn can have lasting impacts on their social, emotional and cognitive development. Policymakers recognize the tremendous opportunities and risks associated with this critical time and are increasingly investing in what experts call “infant and early childhood mental health” (I-ECMH). View the PowerPoint slide deck on our website, and read a blog post for a summary.

NEWProject Announcement: Infant and Toddler Work to Begin

Young girl and boy looking at a book togetherNCSL is embarking on a new birth-to-three policy project for state legislators funded by the JB and MK Pritzker Family Foundation. During the next year, Early Care and Education staff will be conducting phone interviews, a legislative focus group, a webinar, a birth-to-three national symposium and a legislative infant and toddler report. 

The goal of the project is to educate and engage legislators about the latest neuroscience and child development research and to explore policy options, evidence-based interventions and funding strategies that impact families and very young children. For more information, please contact Julie Poppe at or call 303-856-1497.

Information Request of the Month: Child Care Assistance Programs

Inquiry: How are states revising their child care assistance programs to make them more affordable and accessible to families? 

Response: Some states have made changes to their eligibility guidelines, expanded their state child care tax credits, and revised family co-payments in order to make child care more accessible and affordable. 

Over the last couple of years Colorado enacted a series of child related bills that revised eligibility, extended the program reauthorization period, developed child care tax credits and developed a tiered-reimbursement policy. Nebraska lawmakers enacted bills that provided an income disregard for eligibility and allowed for transitional child care assistance once a family exceeds the state eligibility limit. Last year Oregon strengthened its child care subsidy program and allows students enrolled in coursework to receive subsidized child care. Below are a few examples of enacted bills. Please visit the early care and education database to view all introduced and enacted legislation. 

Colorado HB 1072 (2014): Income Tax Credit for Child Care Expenses. Revises provisions of the state child care tax credit to allow families with annual incomes of up to $25,000 to claim the refundable state credit of up to 25 percent of eligible child care expenses, regardless of the amount of their federal child care tax credits. Sets the maximum state credit at $500 for one child and $1,000 for two or more children.  

Nebraska LB 81 (2015): Child Care Assistance. Requires that at redetermination of eligibility, if a family's income exceeds 135 percent of the federal poverty level, the family continue to receive transitional child care assistance for up to 24 consecutive months or until the family income exceeds 185 percent of the federal poverty level. Requires the amount of such child care assistance to be based on a cost-shared plan between the recipient family and the state and on a sliding-scale methodology.  

Oregon HB 2015 (2015): Subsidized Child Care. Requires the subsidy program for employment-related child care to provide for a period of eligibility regardless of change in employment. Permits students enrolled in coursework and self-employed persons to receive subsidized employment-related child care. Allows for reduced copayments for parents who choose child care providers that meet minimum standards under the quality rating and improvement system and enhanced reimbursement rates for providers who meet these same minimum standards of quality.   

2016 Legislative Session Update

Young boy playing with alphabetical wooden blocksThe early care and education database tracks early care and education legislation from the 2008-2016 legislative sessions for the 50 states and territories. Issues include child care and child care financing, governance and data strategies, prekindergarten, professional development, home visiting, infants and toddlers and financing early education. Legislation can be searched by state, topic, status, primary sponsor, bill number or keyword. This database, which is updated every other week, is made possible by the generous support of the Alliance for Early Success

In 2016 more than 600 early education bills were introduced and more than 100 bills have been enacted to date. A full report of all enacted 2016 legislation will be available this winter. Below is a sampling of enacted bills. Visit the early care and education database to view all introduced and enacted bills from 2008 through 2016. 

Enacted bills of note:
DC B21-590 (Councilmember Alexander): Extends eligibility for subsidized child care to foster parents who may no longer be working but have some form of verifiable income, teen parents under 21 years of age who themselves are in foster care or wards of the District, and foster parents who are not working but who are enrolled in a verified job training or education program. 

MN SB 3208 (Sen. Jensen) / MN HB 3436 (Rep. Franson): Creates a legislative task force on child care to review the shortage of child care providers in the state, assess affordability issues for providers and parents, and identify areas that need to be addressed by the legislature. Duties may include a review of the current pre-service and in-service training requirements for family child care providers and child care center staff, the availability of training and review the time it takes for the department to provide Child Care Assistance Program reimbursement to providers among other things. 

MO HB 2002 (Rep. Flanigan): Provides funding for the Missouri Preschool Program and Early Childhood Program for the purpose of administration and assessment; provides reimbursements to school districts for the Early Childhood program, Hard to Reach incentives and parent education in conjunction with the Early Childhood Education and Screening program; provides grants to higher education institutions for the Child Development Associate Certificate Program. 

OK SB 1554 (Sen. Marlatt): Requires that all directors of child care center have either a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or child development or a bachelor’s degree and at least three years of experience working with children from newborn to 12 years of age.

As legislators prepare to return to session in 2017 NCSL will continue to track and update our database page. View the full 2017 legislative session calendar for information on legislative sessions in each state, district and territory. 

2016 NCSL Capitol Forum | Child Care and Infant and Toddler Policy Roundtable

NCSL Capitol Forum Logo: includes photo of Capitol Building, Dec. 6-9 and Washington D.C.NCSL's 2016 Capitol Forum will be held Dec. 6-9 in Washington, D.C. Join us in D.C. to tackle critical state-federal issues, gain insight from national experts, and work with committees to craft the States’ Agenda. Register and learn more today

Early on Wednesday please be sure to join the NCSL Early Care and Education staff for a policy conversation about infants, toddlers and child care broadly. The Child Care and Infant and Toddler Policy Roundtable will be at the Wardman Hotel in the Hoover Room on Dec. 7 from 7 to 10:30 a.m. At the roundtable we plan to gather input from legislators and legislative staff on child care and birth to three policies. Some of the main topics that we will aim to discuss and want feedback on include:

  • Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Reauthorization.
  • Supporting parents and other caregivers.
  • Improving child care program quality.
  • Evidence-based programs such as home visiting that serve children and families.
  • Budgeting and financing issues including leveraging public and private dollars.

A continental breakfast will be provided. If you are interested in attending or have additional questions, please email or call 303-856-1473 and reserve your spot today. 

Federal Update and Resources

Implementing the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014
President Barack Obama signed into law the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-186) on Nov. 19, 2014, the first comprehensive reauthorization for the CCDBG in nearly 20 years. A final rule implementing the CCDBG Act and updating the CCDF regulations for the first time since 1998 were published on Sept. 23, 2016. Learn more on the NCSL website

A Joint Policy Statement on State Advisory Councils on Early Childhood Education and Care
Joint policy statement dated Sept. 21, 2016 from the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services and the U.S. Dept. of Education to provide guidance to State Advisory Councils on Early Childhood Education and Care on sustaining federal and state investments, and advancing work that supports the coordination of quality, comprehensive systems of early care and education at the state level.

Home Visiting Programs: Reviewing Evidence of Effectiveness September 2016
This year’s Home Visiting Evidence of Effectiveness (HomVEE) review of home visiting models covered six program models: one new model and five previously reviewed models. This executive summary provides detailed information on all 45 home visiting models reviewed by HomVEE and the summary brief describes the review process, review results, and the 19 program models determined to meet criteria for an “evidence-based early childhood home visiting service delivery model.” View all information on the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation website

Non-Regulatory Guidance Early Learning in the Every Student Succeeds Act: Expanding Opportunities to Support our Youngest Learners
Over 50 years ago, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) was signed into law and recently was reauthorized through the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The U.S. Department of Education, on Oct. 20, 2016, released new guidelines which include opportunities available in the law to strengthen early education and provide state and local community examples. 

Mark Your Calendar

2017 calendar in the shape of a circleNCSL Capitol Forum
NCSL’s 2016 Capitol Forum will be held Dec. 6-9 in Washington, D.C. Join us in D.C. to tackle critical state-federal issues, gain insight from national experts, and work with committees to craft the States’ Agenda. Register and learn more today

Annual Legislative Summit
The NCSL Legislative Summit is the meeting where legislators and legislative staff come together to work on the nation's pressing issues, share experiences and influence federal policy. The 2017 Legislative Summit will be held Aug. 6-9 in Boston.


Red Light Green Light: State Child Care Assistance Policies 2016

Source: National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) | Oct. 2016
This report examines states’ policies in five key areas–income eligibility limits to qualify for child care assistance, waiting lists for child care assistance, copayments required of parents receiving child care assistance, reimbursement rates for child care providers serving families receiving child care assistance, and eligibility for child care assistance for parents searching for a job. Read the report

Directory of State Early Learning Contacts

Source: Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) | Oct. 2016This latest edition of the Directory of State Early Learning Contacts contains updated information for state contacts in the birth through third grade system in each state. View the directory

Science to Policy and Practice: Applying the Science of Child Development to Child Welfare Systems

Source: Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University | Oct. 2016
This report draws on the Center’s extensive work to synthesize and translate relevant scientific knowledge, then examines how that knowledge might be applied to child welfare policy and practice. Reviewed by a wide and varied group of experts on science and child welfare, the report is aimed at everyone with an interest in child welfare, from legislators and system leaders to front-line workers, parents, and youth. Read the report

Full-Day Kindergarten: A Look Across the States

Source: Education Commission of the States (ECS) | Sept. 2016
This new 50-State Review explores the different methods that states use to fund both full-day and half-day kindergarten and examines the spectrum of full-day kindergarten program requirements across the country. Read the report


Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Child Care Assistance: A Weakened Safety Net for Families

Source: National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) | Nov. 2016
Read the fact sheet

Trouble in the Land of Early Childhood Education?

Source: The Future of Children | Fall 2016
Read the policy brief

The Care Index Report

Source: New America & | Oct. 2016
Read the report and view the interactive map

Addressing Equity Issues in the Early Childhood Workforce: Education, Compensation & Career Pathways

Source: T.E.A.C.H Early Childhood National Center | Oct. 2016
Read the report

Using Teaching Strategies GOLD® within a Kindergarten Entry Assessment System

Source: Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) | Oct. 2016
Read the report

Opportunities in ESSA for Improving Early Education

Source: National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) | Oct. 2016
Read the report

Do Early Educators’ Implicit Biases Regarding Sex and Race Relate to Behavior Expectations and Recommendations of Preschool Expulsions and Suspensions?

Source: Yale Child Study Center | Sept. 2016
Read the research study brief

Reaching and Engaging with Hispanic Communities: A Research-Informed Communication Guide for Nonprofits, Policymakers, and Funders

Source: Child Trends Hispanic Institute & The Crimsonbridge Foundation | Sept. 2016
Read the report.

2016 Citizen-Readiness Index

Source: Council for a Strong America | Sept. 2016
Read the report

The Care Report

Source: New America | Sept. 2016
Read the report

Child Care for Parents in College: A State-by-State Assessment

Source: Institute for Women’s Policy Research | Sept. 2016
Read the report

Screening Mental Health In Kindergarten Is Way Too Late, Experts Say

Source: NPR Ed | Sept. 2016
View and listen to the article

A Benefit-Cost Analysis of the Tulsa Universal Pre-K Program

Source: Upjohn Institute | Aug. 2016
Read the working paper

Building State P-3 Systems: Learning from Leading States

Source: Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) | Aug. 2016
Read the report

Research Instruments: PreK Cost Calculator

Source: National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) | Aug. 2016
Read the report.

Development and Implementation of Quality Rating and Improvement Systems in Midwest Region States

Source: American Institutes for Research | June 2016
Read the report

Click to View the Fall 2016 e-update as a PDF