This week marks the first week of school for many children across America. In Michigan, the recent expansion of the Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) means even more young children will have the opportunity to attend preschool this fall.
At the conclusion of the Colorado General Assembly’s 120-day 2014 Legislative Session on May 7th, early childhood advocates had a lot to celebrate. Beginning with opening day speeches by both the Speaker of the House, Mark Ferrandino, and the Senate President, Morgan Carroll, children’s issues and child care in particular were major areas of focus throughout the session.
Overall early childhood policies in Florida saw some modest successes though a few priorities were not achieved. Early learning funding increased slightly in Florida this year, though the percentage increase to the early learning budget was below the increases realized by the K-12 and higher education budgets.
Early care and education advocates in Kansas are celebrating a budget victory this year in what has become a tough climate for public investments of any kind. The cause for celebration is the surprising veto of a provision to sweep $5 million from early childhood programs.
On a snowy morning in December, state legislators, including the Chairs of the Education Committee, toured Educare Central Maine. The tour showed them what high quality early education for children, starting at birth, really looks like and means to Maine’s children and families.
By now, nearly everyone knows that Pre-K is a hot topic in New York State, topping the legislative agenda, with key state officials agreeing that the key questions were not whether to invest, but how much and how fast – and how to pay for it.
A former member of the New Mexico State Senate described her first session as a little like “riding a motorcycle in a thunderstorm in the nude.” This may sound a bit like an exaggeration. But, it is not. The New Mexico State Legislature meets for 30 or 60 days, depending on the year and the sessions are often challenging, confrontational and exhilarating. &n
Although Oregon’s even-year 35-day sessions are fairly narrow in scope, this year we had an urgent opportunity to advocate for restoration of funds dedicated to early learning, including Head Start, Early Head Start, Relief Nurseries, and other key programs.