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Mississippi First works to champion transformative policy solutions ensuring educational excellence for every child. They are the lead advocates for the Early Learning Collaborative Act of 2013, Mississippi’s state-funded pre-k law. They conduct research, and support advocacy and implementation efforts for the state pre-k program, including supporting the Mississippi Department of Education-funded pre-k programs and applicant communities.

State Allies:

Mississippi First • Jackson, MS
Mississippi First • Jackson, MS
Top Priorities for 2021

Make the FY21 pre-k rate increase to $5000 per child permanent by passing authorizing legislation to lock in the change.

Expand the pre-k program to reach 25 percent of Mississippi children by 2025.

Mississippi’s 2020 Early Childhood Policy Landscape and Progress:

Estimated FY20 State General Fund Expenditures

House (R), Senate (R)
Governor (R)

171,419 Young Children (0-8) are Below 200% FPL

Prepandemic, Mississippi First was on track to receive not only a rate increase in pre-k per-pupil funding but also a major program expansion. The pandemic wreaked havoc on the budget, and focus shifted to prioritizing funding for the rate increase.

Mississippi First successfully advocated for an increase in the pre-k per-pupil rate by inserting the language for the rate increase directly into the budget bill.

*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.

More from Mississippi:

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 Mississippi 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