Recent State Policy Advances
Expanded investment. Restructured agencies. New caucuses, committees, and coalitions. Read about all the ways our allies on the front lines are making their state a better place for each and every child to reach their full potential.
Anchorage, Alaska will soon benefit from an additional five to six million dollars per year in funds for child care and early education thanks to voter approval of Proposition 14 in April, also known as the “Care for Kids” measure. The five percent sales tax on marijuana purchases has existed for years, but the funds will now be used for the benefit of young children and their families rather than going into the city’s general fund.
West Virginia Advocates Develop a New Tool for Analyzing and Communicating the State’s Child Care Needs
TEAM for West Virginia Children, the West Virginia Association for Young Children and Child Care Aware of America have rolled out a new West Virginia child care dashboard — an interactive map illustrating the gap between child care supply and demand. The tool is already proving effective for communicating the issue to policymakers and broader community.
Zero to Five Montana is improving early education by helping to protect the languages of the state’s 12 Native American tribes. It’s an effort to enrich children, support early educators, and draw on the experience and expertise of the larger community. Young children experience a better understanding of their own cultural identity when they can learn their tribal language, and this cultural knowledge helps heal some aspects of generational trauma that many indigenous families live with.
Across the Country and Across the Aisle, State Policymakers Are Moving to Extend Medicaid Coverage for New Moms
While a significant number of pregnancy-related deaths happen 6-12 months after the end of pregnancy, the federal government only mandates that Medicaid coverage extend for 60 days after the end of the pregnancy. In response to this deadly gap in coverage, advocates are working with policymakers—Democrat and Republican, urban and rural—to extend postpartum Medicaid coverage in their states. Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia have recently passed coverage extensions.
The Vermont state legislature made an historic investment in the state’s child care system of more than $76 million in new funding in state fiscal year 2024 and nearly $125 million in state fiscal year 2025. Despite facing political challenges and uncertainty, Act 76 found a path forward through a veto override with multi-partisan support.
The Utah Full-Day Kindergarten Now! Coalition of more than 50 organizations is joining with Utah families to celebrate the passage of a full-day kindergarten option across the state. A bill passed by the legislature and signed by the governor provides greater access to optional full-day kindergarten in Utah by funding the program the same way grades 1 through 12 are funded.
North Dakota Advocates Are Building A Movement for Child Wellness Through Trust—One Community at a Time
The Foundation for a Healthy North Dakota (FHND) and their public interest communications firm have developed a silver bullet strategy for empowering communities to take charge of child wellness and define what community health looks like. They listen. Read how they turned this inquiry into outreach that was responsive to communities’ needs and perspectives and grounded in their unique contexts.
In another example of the Alliance Effect, Alliance allies Early Learner South Dakota (an initiative of the South Dakota AEYC) and the Committee for Economic Development have partnered to design a comprehensive set of statewide interactive early care and education program data maps to address South Dakota’s historical challenge of having very little publicly available child care supply and demand information.
Momentum for accessible and high-quality child care is gaining steam, and advocates say technical assistance from he Alliance for Early Success has played a big part in their ability to seize the opportunity.
Washington State Coalition Celebrates Supreme Court Win on Funding Stream for Early Childhood Programs
The Washington Supreme Court ruled on March 25, 2023, that the state’s new capital gains tax is constitutional—a decision that upholds a powerful new revenue stream that is expected to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for crucial early childhood programs through the state’s recently enacted Fair Start for Kids Act.
Mississippi Continues to Build Support for Pre-K—and Doubles Its Number of Early Learning Collaboratives
Mississippi just celebrated the ten-year anniversary of its launch of a collaborative pre-k program, a mixed-delivery model that allows families in communities to choose the setting and style that works for them. The 2013 debut allocated $3 million for 11 early learning collaboratives. By 2023, $24 million is enabling Mississippi to support 35.
Alliance allies at Texans Care for Children have launched a new school readiness dashboard that is more than just a tool for gathering and communicating the expected data about the state’s young children. It represents an expansive new way of thinking about school readiness.