While debate over child care reform continues at the federal level, state policymakers and advocates succeeded in passing multi-faceted child care reform legislation last session. Alliance for Early Success grantees recently got together for an Allies Huddle to share what’s in the bills and advice on getting them passed.
Extensive information and resources were shared.
Oregon allies discussed their journey to advocate successfully for child care reform changes in the legislature (HB 3073). The shared the bill’s contents and how they talked about it, and described how they worked closely with stakeholders to revamp governance and demonstrate the effect of the changes for families in the community.
Vermont allies talked about their successful Child Care Bill (H.171), and how their advocacy strategies focused on mobilizing grassroots groups and community members.
New York allies explained how changes to policies with large fiscal impact must occur through the budget process. Advocates supported a broader revenue campaign to show how the budget can impact policy and create a pathway for universal child care. Their strategy is to move towards universal child care using federal funding in the short term and leveraging increased state revenue in the long term.
The Alliance policy team compiled and shared a side-by-side comparison of the successful legislation in Oregon, Vermont, New York, and Washington.
Child Care Task Forces got much discussion as a strategy for bold reform. Policy team members from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) shared their recent brief on child care task forces with the group, as well as a compilation of child care task forces formed by states around the country, including links to any publicly available reports.
The state early childhood policy advocates on the call also traded information and strategies on cost modeling and cost of quality studies. Louisiana Policy Institute for Children shared Modeling Quality Child Care Center Costs and Revenues in Louisiana (December 2018) and Modeling Child Care Center Costs and Revenues in Louisiana (April 2020, updated to reflect increased costs due to COVID).
Other similar studies include the District of Columbia (2021), New Mexico (2021), Illinois (2019), and New Jersey (2017). The Alliance also directed advocates to the new comprehensive resource center on Revenue and Finance.
Allies Huddles are an increasingly common way Alliance state advocacy grantees are leveraging the organization’s 50-state peer network and national technical assistance partners.