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Our lead ally in Alaska is Alaska Children’s Trust (ACT), the statewide lead organization focused on the prevention of child abuse and neglect. ACT serves as advocate, convener, and catalyst for building a state that ensures children grow up in safe, stable, and nurturing environments. ACT influences public policy and, as the home to KIDS COUNT Alaska, produces reliable data, makes policy recommendations, and provides tools needed to advance sound policies that benefit Alaska’s children, youth, and families.

2022 State Early Childhood Policy Environment and Progress

State early childhood policy progress is dependent both on the state’s policy environment and the numerous efforts — by those listed on this page and many others — who worked both independently and collaboratively to achieve wins for young children.

Policy Landscape:

State General Fund Appropriations: Declining 

The state’s enacted fiscal 2023 budget provides for total operating expenditures of $9.6 billion from all funds (a 16.3 percent decline), including $4.8 billion in unrestricted general fund spending (a 1.2 percent decline). Additionally, the budget provides for total capital appropriations of $2.6 billion, including $734 million in unrestricted general fund spending and $1.8 billion in federal fund spending. The budget assumes unrestricted general fund revenues totaling $5.0 billion, a 28 percent increase from fiscal 2022 estimated levels. The budget projects additional revenue of $3.4 billion from a statutory drawdown from the Permanent Fund, with $2.1 billion of that revenue used to provide Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) payments to state residents and the remaining $1.3 billion available to support government services.1

Political Alignment: Divided

During the 2022 session, Alaska’s Senate was Republican controlled and the state’s Governor was also Republican. Alaska’s House is led by a coalition made up of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents.2

Young Children in Low-Income Households: Declining

In 2019, approximately 35% (32,000) of Alaska’s children 0-8 lived in households below 200% FPL. This number represents a decrease from 39% (37,000) in 2015.3

Racial Disparity Among Young Children Living in Low-Income Households: High

Non-White children 0-8 are significantly more likely to be living in households below 200% FPL.3

Note: This data does not take into account the traditional subsistence way of life of Alaska’s rural Indigenous communities, where economics are different and households would not necessarily self-identify as “low-income.”

Advocacy Landscape:

Southeast Alaska Association for the Education of Young Children

2022 Policy Progress:

This year, Alaska saw a significant win for early childhood with the passage of the Alaska Reads Act (HB114) which initiates universal, voluntary, high-quality pre-K programs and support across Alaska (from FY24-FY34). While we remain sensitive to equity concerns raised for rural Alaska and Alaska Native students in regards to the targeted reading intervention portion of this legislation, the pre-K portion of this historic, bi-partisan legislation is a win for Alaska’s kids.

Other highlights from the state’s early childhood policy advocacy community include5:

HB114 initiates universal, voluntary, high-quality Pre-K and targeted reading intervention programs across Alaska. While the Pre-K element is certainly a win, we remain sensitive to equity concerns raised for rural Alaska and Alaska Native students in regards to the reading intervention portion of this legislation. Programs sunset in FY2034. (SB111 inserted as amend.)

SB34 directs the State Board of Education to partner with Alaska Tribes and Tribal organizations in creating a model program for future state-tribal compact schools. 

HB184 codifies the Tribal Child Welfare Compact, an historic state-tribal partnership transferring specific child welfare and prevention services from OCS to Tribes.

HB168 – Directs the State of Alaska to allow for electronic application/signature for a variety of state benefits, including Medicaid. 

HB 265 codifies pandemic-related telehealth flexibilities and expands Alaska Medicaid coverage.

EO 121 splits Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) into two more manageable Departments: the Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Family & Community Services (DFCS). ACT took a neutral position, but served as a lead contact for DHSS in convening and communicating with nonprofit community partners. 

Budget wins include the addition of $3.7M in PRe-K grants (for a total of $5.7M), full funding of K-12 Education plus one-time additional funds of $57M (to account for inflation/increased costs per student), a $10M Office of Children’s Services Support Package, the addition of $3.4M to the Tribal Child Welfare Compact (for a total of $5M), and $750K in grants to ACT for after school programs (for a total of $2M). 


Alaska Advocacy Snapshot:


National Association of State Budget Officers, Summaries of Fiscal Year 2023 Proposed & Enacted Budgets, September 2022.

2 Alliance for Early Success, State-Wide Advocacy Highlights Survey, April-September, 2022.

Kids Count Data Center, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Children Ages 0 to 8 Below 200 Percent Poverty, December, 2020; NCCP Analysis of ACS 5-Year Estimates – Public Use Microdata Sample 2016-2020.

Alliance for Early Success, Multi-State Initiatives for Early Childhood Policy Advocacy, April, 2022.

Alliance for Early Success, State-Wide Advocacy Highlights Survey, April-September, 2022.  

2023 Grantee Policy Agenda:

The Alliance’s lead grantee in Alaska, Alaska Children’s Trust, is working to advance early childhood policies in several areas: 

Early Care and Education

Child Care

Child Care Workforce

Preschool and Pre-K

K-3rd Grade

Child and
Maternal Health

Maternal Health

Infant & Child Health

Early Intervention (Age 0-3)


Family Economic Security

Home Visiting

Paid Family & Medical Leave

Child Welfare





Early Childhood Governance 

More State Policy Data:


More State Demographic Data: