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Georgia

Our key ally in Georgia, the Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS), is a statewide advocacy organization that focuses on bridging the gap between Georgia’s families, business community, and policy leaders as it promotes school readiness for young children. GEEARS works closely with state agencies including the Department of Public Health and Department of Early Learning to implement policy change; advocate for early learning in the GA General Assembly and engage civic leaders.

2020 State Policy Environment

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.

Advocacy Landscape:

2020 Policy Environment and Progress:

Georgia faced 10 percent across-the-board budget cuts due to the pandemic. Despite this, GEEARS had major wins in the budget for early childhood and maternal health during the unusual summer reconvening of the Georgia Legislature. Georgia’s policy and budget wins were possible due to the relationships and awareness that GEEARS built with key legislators, legislative staff, and grassroots partners in recent years.

$25.74B STATE BUDGET
Estimated FY20 State General Fund Expenditures

ALIGNED GOVERNMENT
House (R), Senate (R)
Governor (R)

45% LOW-INCOME
533,157 Young Children (0-8) are Below 200% FPL

*Early childhood policy progress in a state is the result of numerous efforts — by those listed on this page and many others — who worked both independently and collaboratively to achieve wins for young children.

GOING FORWARD:

Top Priorities for 2021

Increase funding for IECMH services, early intervention services, and home visiting.

Pass a state family leave bill.

Increase state and federal funds for child care subsidies.

Continue to lead the Emergency Round Table of organizations focused on coordination, information sharing, data collection, rapid response, and administrative advocacy to respond to issues that arise as a result of the pandemic.

Support implementation of the recommendations of the House Study Committee on Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health.

Work with grassroots partners to identify and promote equitable policies to stabilize child care and support families amid the pandemic.

More from Georgia:

GEEARS 2021 Legislative Session Video Update 

April 7, 2021

Georgia Early Education for Ready Students reports on the 2021 legislative session in this video recap with Executive Director Mindy Binderman — and several families who are excited about the year’s progress.

Georgia Allies Leverage Alabama Early Childhood Mental Health Progress for Big Wins in Their Own State

Georgia allies at GEEARS are celebrating the creation of a new task force for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health. Allies leveraged a cross-state partnership with Alabama’s IECMH coordinator to support progress. GEEARS organized efforts for a legislative study committee that led to the creation of recommendations, which will be carried out by the task force.

Read More »

Download the full 50-State report.

The Alliance for Early Success 2020 50-State Progress Report on Early Childhood Policy expands state data (disaggregating low-income young children by race) and provides high-level state policy trend analysis for the nation as a whole. Click the icon to download the report.

State Budget Data: National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), “Table 4: Fiscal 2020 State General Fund, Estimated (Millions); The Fiscal Survey of the States.” Spring, 2020

Low-Income Data (including disaggregation by race): National Center for Children in Poverty, “NCCP Analysis of ACS 1-year Estimates—Public Use Microdata Sample, 2019.”

State Action Data: Provided by state advocates, October-November 2020, with analysis and synthesis by Frontera Strategy for Alliance for Early Success, “Protecting Progress and Investing in Scale: The 2020 50-State Progress Report on Early Childhood Education Policy.”

Additional State Actions: Mincic, Melissa,  Early Care and Education, State Budget Actions, Fiscal Year 2020. National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), October 2020. 

 

The Alliance for Early Success is achieving large-scale, long-lasting change for the state’s young children by providing our allies with powerful advantages that help them shape Georgia early childhood state policy.

Strategic, Outcomes-Focused Investments

Consulting and Strategy

Technical Support from National Expertise

Rapid Response Support

Connections/Access to Allies in Similar States

Roles in National Communities of Practice