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Rhode Island

Rhode Island KIDS COUNT works to improve the health, safety, education, economic well-being, and development of Rhode Island’s children. They do this by providing independent, credible, comprehensive information, and by bringing individuals and organizations together to advocate for public policies and programs that improve children’s lives.

State Allies:

Rhode Island Kids Count • Providence, RI
Top Priorities for 2021

Sustain and improve access to high-quality preschool (both through RI Pre-k and Head Start) while maintaining our #1 ranking in the U.S. for pre-k quality and strengthening our mixed delivery system.

Sustain and improve access to the Early Intervention program, which has high participation rates (fifth highest in the U.S.) but is facing a funding and staffing crisis with Medicaid rates held flat for 12+ years.

Sustain and improve access to high-quality child care for children from birth through age 12 during and beyond the pandemic, with attention to race and economic equity issues.

Rhode Island’s 2020 Early Childhood Policy Landscape and Progress:

Estimated FY20 State General Fund Expenditures

House (D), Senate (D),
Governor (D)

30,681 Young Children (0-8) are Below 200% FPL

Current spending is based on FY20 budget because the budget for FY21 has not yet passed. Very few hearings were held and very few bills have passed. The most significant legislation raised the state’s minimum wage to $11.50/hour, a $1 increase.

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 cover to go to the download page.

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 Rhode Island early childhood policy.