NCSL Early Care and Education Summer 2018 E-Update


in this issue


NCSL’s Early Care and Education staff, along with our colleagues in education and health, host webinars and podcasts, produce reports, create webpages and pen articles to support your work. Here are our recent products. 

Home Visiting LegisBrief

Home visiting is a voluntary, two-generation parent-support model designed to improve health and education outcomes for children and their families. Learn more about the costs, types of home visiting models and outcomes in NCSL’s Aug. LegisBrief Home Visiting: Improving Children’s and Families’ Well-Being

Wisconsin Early Care and Education Symposium

NCSL staff and members of the Wisconsin Assembly hosted a one-day Early Care and Education Symposium in May. Access handouts and PowerPoint Presentations from the day, and read a blog post about the event. 

Webinar | Suspension and Expulsion

Learn about research related to suspension and expulsion in the early years by listening to this one-hour webinar from July. The BUILD Initiative’s Carey McCann shared information about the dimensions of early childhood expulsions and suspensions and highlights the potential role of state policy and supports. The webinar concluded with legislative examples from Senator Omar Aquino (D-Ill.), Senator Peggy Lehner (R-Ohio) and Senator Gayle Manning (R-Ohio). 

Webinar | A Look at Prekindergarten Across the Country

Learn from experts from Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes and National Institute for Early Education Research during this one-hour webinar from August as they discussed designing prekindergarten programs for success, costs and financing and new funding opportunities. Take a deep dive into Alabama and learn about its prekindergarten program and the legislative involvement from Representative Terri Collins (R-Ala.). 

2018 Preschool-Third Grade Education Legislation Tracker

NCSL has compiled a comprehensive summary of legislation introduced in 2018 that relates to preschool through third grade education. This legislative tracker captures more than 300 introduced or enacted bills from a wide variety of early learning policy areas, including preschool, dual-language learners, governance and family engagement. 

Two-Generation Strategies Toolkit

States have been looking at ways to break the cycle of poverty for decades. A new approach gaining attention among policymakers aims to simultaneously address the needs of children and their parents. Often called two-generation, intergenerational, multigeneration, or whole-family approaches, these efforts are the focus of NCSL's Two-Generation Strategies Toolkit for legislators.



2018 NCSL Early Learning Fellows Meetings

Early Learning Fellows LogoIn April, 34 NCSL members representing 23 states were selected through a rigorous application process to participate in the seventh cohort of NCSL’s Early Learning Fellows program. Since 2011, this program has provided a valuable learning opportunity for members of human services, education or appropriation committees.

Early Learning Fellows met in Denver in June to learn about early brain development and early childhood workforce issues and to tour a high-quality child care facility. In August, Early Learning Fellows convened for a second meeting in Minneapolis, where they learned about financing mechanisms, the importance of play and early STEM. They also continued to develop personal action plans. Meeting materials and participant lists are available on NCSL’s website. Highlights from each meeting are shared on NCSL’s blog post.

Prenatal-to-Three Legislative Advisory Group

Two young children, a girl and boy, reading a book together. NCSL’s Prenatal-to-Three (PN-3) Legislative Advisory Group is a bipartisan group of 10 legislators, two legislative staff, and four NCSL staff working together to create a policy framework to support legislators with an interest in moving prenatal-to three legislation.

Members met in May to discuss brain development in infants and toddlers, hear from a demographer and begin considering the structure of the framework. At a second meeting in July the group learned about funding options, discussed return on investment and considered how these pieces could fit in the framework. The framework will be released in December at NCSL’s Capitol Forum.

2018 Legislative Summit | Los Angeles

Los Angeles Summit and a capitol dome buildingMore than 5,000 people took part in NCSL’s 2018 Legislative Summit in Los Angeles. Many of the presentations are now available online, including resources from the session titled Healthy Starts: Tools for Early Childhood Success featuring Dr. Pat Levitt with the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Alan Mease with the Arkansas Department of Health. The session focused on early brain development and the implications for states policy as it relates to children’s mental and physical health and social and emotional development. Assemblymember Michaelle Solages (D-N.Y.), Senator Thomas Alexander (R-S.C.) and Representative Ruth Kagi (D-Wash.) provided perspective from their states. 


2018 Health and Human Services Chairs Meeting

This invitational meeting focused on how the places where people live, learn, work, and play affect health and well-being. An early childhood and health session highlighted the understanding of how and why events in infancy and childhood have long-term consequences for individuals, families and communities. Chairs of health and human services committees worked across domains to enhance state policy leadership, consider policy issues and options, learn about successful state-level system improvements, and share concerns, interests and policy successes with colleagues; and develop action steps to pursue back in their home state. Meeting material is available on NCSL’s website.


3 Practices and 3 Policies Indispensable for High-Quality Teaching and Learning in PrekDecades of research show how young children benefit from high-quality pre-K, but confusion can arise over the types of policies and instructional practices that lead to quality. In 2016, more than 30 top-level researches, program leaders and advocates came together and created three practices and three policies designed to provide easy-to-remember statements on what could assist in developing quality pre-K. Spearheaded by New America, the following suggested practices and policies were created with both policymakers and advocates in mind. 

  • Engage in positive interactions with children and their families, recognizing the strengths and diversity of their backgrounds.
  • Use learning trajectories in subject areas and domains, supported by effective curricula, to help children meet goals in learning and development.
  • Promote children’s social development and self-regulation in ways that reflect an understanding of the multiple biological and environmental factors that affect behavior.
  • Allocate increased predictable and sustainable funding to establish the conditions necessary for high-quality teaching and learning.
  • Provide educators with professional learning (pre-service and in-service) based at a minimum on the three indispensable practices and on in-service opportunities aligned with the definition of professional development in the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.
  • Use high-quality data to promote continuous quality improvement and better continuity from ages 0-3 to pre-K to grades K-3. 

Access resources related to each of these practices and policies and how they might be able to help you with the work in your state. 


Young boy playing with wooden alphabetical blocks NCSL’s early care and education database tracks introduced and enacted legislation from the 2008-2018 legislative sessions for all 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 for early education. Legislation can be searched by state, topic, status, primary sponsor, bill number or keyword. The database is updated weekly through the generous support of the Alliance for Early Success

Visit the early care and education database to view all introduced and enacted bills from 2008 through 2018. View the full 2018 legislative session calendar for information on legislative sessions in each state, district and territory. 

This database tracks hundreds of bills annually cataloging items into specific issue areas, including:

  • Child Care Subsidy & Quality
  • Financing
  • Governance
  • Home Visiting
  • Prekindergarten & School Readiness
  • Prenatal, Infant & Toddlers
  • Teachers & Workforce


NCSL’s Washington, D.C.-based staff ensure state legislatures have a strong, cohesive voice in the federal system. Stay up to date with NCSL’s bimonthly Health and Human Services State-Federal Newsletter for health and human services committee members. Newsletters are archived on NCSL’s website.

Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5) Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in consultation with the Department of Education (ED), will be soliciting applications from eligible states and territories to carry out the activities of the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5).  

The PDG B-5 FOA is soliciting applications from all states and territories. States and territories can apply for as little as $500,000 and as much as $15,000,000 for the first year of funding.  Applications will be due by November 6, 2018. Additional information can be found online

There will a webinar on September 18 from 2-3 p.m. ET including ACF Office of Child Care and the U.S. Department of Education. Access dial in information

This initial one-year grant differs significantly from the Preschool Development Grants that are presently funded.  The PDG B-5 grant targets comprehensive statewide birth through five needs assessment, strategic planning, parent choice and knowledge about mixed delivery systems, and sharing best practices prior to implementation of any quality initiatives states identify in a strategic plan developed based on what is learned from their needs assessment. 

For more information, contact: or


2018 calendar in the shape of a circle2018 NCSL Capitol Forum

NCSL’s Capitol Forum is where legislators and staff tackle critical state-federal issues, gain insight from national experts, and work with committees to craft the states’ agenda. The 2018 Capitol Forum will be Dec. 5-8 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. Join us this December in Washington, D.C.

2019 Legislative Summit

NCSL’s Legislative Summit is your ticket to national policy experts, in-depth educational sessions, professional development and networking. Stay tuned for more information about the 2019 Summit, Aug. 5-8, in Nashville, Tenn.


The Early Childhood Workforce Index 2018

Source: Center for the Study of Child Care Employment | June 2018
The 2018 Early Childhood Workforce Index is the second edition of this biennial report. The report describes early childhood employment conditions and policies in every state and tracks progress since 2016. Read the report

New 2018 CityHealth Report

Source: CityHealth | May 2018
A national report assessing how the largest U.S. cities address health and well-being issues awarded top honors for high-quality preschool programs to Boston, Charlotte, Nashville, New York City and San Antonio. This year, 33 cities received a medal for high-quality pre-K, up from 31 in 2017. Bronze medals were awarded to cities with more than 30 percent of children enrolled in pre-K; silver medals were awarded if pre-K met 8 of 10 minimum quality standards benchmarks and gold medal cities did both. Read the report.

Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes’ Legacy 2030 Project

Source: Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) | May 2018
CEELO’s new Legacy 2030 Project captures the voices and experiences of state early education specialists and others who have influenced early education policy. Access the website.


Policy Options for Promoting Early Brain Development

Source: Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) | Aug. 2018
Read the report.

Collaborating to Support the Early Childhood Workforce

Source: National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) | Aug. 2018
Read the policy update.

Accountability for Early Education–a Different Approach and Some Positive Signs

Source: Brookings | Aug. 2018
Read the report

Parenting Knowledge among First-time Parents of Young Children

Source: Child Trends | July 2018
Read the report.

Advancing Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health: The Integration of DC:0-5™ Into State Policy and Systems

Source: Zero to Three | July 2018
Read the report

New CCDBG Money is Making a Difference: Document the Impact

Source: Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) | July 2018
Read the report.

A Federal Performance Partnership for Early Childhood

Source: American Enterprise Institute (AEI) | June 2018
Read the report

50-State Comparison: State Kindergarten-Through-Third-Grade Policies

Source: Education Commission of the States (ECS) | June 2018
Access the resource.

Opinion: There Are No Losers When We Invest in Early Child Care 

Source: Roll Call | June 2018  
Access the article

2018 KIDS COUNT Data Book

Source: Annie E. Casey Foundation | June 2018
Read the report.

Young Risk Calculator

Source: National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) | May 2018
Access the interactive tool

One Way to Fix Early Childhood Education

Source: True Chat | May 2018
Listen to the podcast

Revisiting the Marshmallow Test: A Conceptual Replication Investigating Links Between Early Delay of Gratification and Later Outcomes

Source: Psychological Science | May 2018
Read the article

Supporting a Diverse Early Childhood Workforce for Dual Language Learners

Source: National Association of State Boards of Education | May 2018
Read the policy update.


View the Summer 2018 e-update as a PDF