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.
The Wyoming Early Childhood Professional Learning Collaborative — initiated when the Wyoming Early Childhood Outreach Network (WYECON) and Wyoming Kids First started to explore opportunities to improve the quality of early childhood education in the state — is working full steam to improve the opportunities for Wyoming’s youngest learners by supporting the professional development of their early childhood educators.
The Joint Task Force on Access to Quality Affordable Child Care, formed following last year’s passage of HB 2346, includes state lawmakers, early care and education providers, business leaders, parents, and Alliance for Early Success ally Children’s Institute.
In an effort to further support the health and wellbeing of Ohio’s youngest children, Governor DeWine recently announced grant awards to expand early childhood mental health services across the state. Through the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, and the Governor’s Office of Children’s Initiatives, nearly $1 million in grants were awarded to 12 Ohio mental health providers
Advocates from several states recently began a “beneficiary voices” project that focuses on incorporating deep listening as a crucial component of policy solution development. Dana Hepper, Policy Director at the Children’s Institute (Oregon), recounts the project kickoff — a site visit to the incredibly diverse town of Clarkston, GA.
On July 17, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed the state’s FY 20-21 operating budget. As a result of Groundwork’s Ohio’s advocacy and strong stakeholder engagement in the budget process, the budget includes a number of new investments to support quality early learning and healthy development young children.
Cecilia Zalkind, President & CEO of Advocates for Children of New Jersey (ACNJ), announces that their state is increasing funding for child care subsidies by $54 million this year — and she shines the spotlight on her team’s effective campaign about the need to increase subsidies to help child care programs meet the new minimum wage for staff salaries.
Colorado Children’s Campaign summarizes some of the big steps forward the state is taking for young children — made possible by bipartisan co-sponsorship and strong bipartisan support for early education and care.
From 2012-2016, Missouri was the only state in the country to ban quality rating systems for early childhood providers. Alliance partner Kids Win Missouri catalogs the two years of progress since the state legislature lifted the ban — and how the state is finally righting the course in early childhood policy.
Oregon early childhood advocates are celebrating passage of the Student Success Act (HB 3427) — a historic investment of $1 billion per year with 20 percent of the budget, or $200 million per year, dedicated for early childhood programs. The Children’s Institute reports on the breakdown, and the state’s five major funding victories for early childhood.
Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, the only statewide non-partisan advocacy organization with a public policy agenda that spans the life of a child from birth to adulthood, reports on the outcomes of the state’s FY 2019-20 state budget — which includes a $30-million increase in pre-K funding and a $5-million increase in home-visiting funding, serving in total an additional 3,000 children and families.
Short on Big Wins the 2019 Session, Kansas Allies Log Incremental Progress and Lay Foundations for a Bright Future
Kansas Action for Children set a bold agenda for the future of Kansas, one that elevated children and families, while ensuring a sound funding structure to support them for years to come. We focused on highlighting opportunities to remove barriers created by systemic racism facing communities of color.
Nebraska’s Unicameral adjourned six days early this year when senators could not reach consensus on a comprehensive property tax relief package or a business tax incentive program. Despite the contentious atmosphere at times, the session concluded with some notable successes for early childhood.