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State Trends in Advancing Early Learning for At-Risk Children Education Writers Association Conference May 18th, 2012 Harriet Dichter Vice President, National Policy Ounce of Prevention Fund firstname.lastname@example.org
Overview • The Ounce National Policy Team • Takeaways: Public Investments in Early Learning for At-Risk Children • Federal and 50-State Trends • Cross-State Trends on Child Care, PreK, Home Visiting, and Head Start • State-Specific Highlights: Progress and Challenges • Hot Topic: Kindergarten Entry Assessments • What’s on the Horizon for Early Learning?
The Ounce of Prevention Fund • Our Mission: • To give children in poverty the best chance for success in school and in life by advocating for and providing the highest quality care and education from birth to age five. • Our Approach: • Practice • Research • Professional development • Policy advocacy
The Ounce National Policy Team The National Policy Team partners with and supports early childhood leaders in states as they advance a comprehensive agenda for at-risk children and families. Throughout today’s presentation we refer to these as the PAR or Peer Advocate Roundtable states. Arizona California Colorado Washington, D.C. Florida Illinois Kansas Maine Michigan Mississippi Nebraska New Mexico New York Oklahoma Oregon Washington Wisconsin
National Policy: To Protect & Grow Public Investment & Improve Public Policy • Strategic, Substantive Consultation Practice with Leaders in Select States (Peer Advocate Roundtable or PAR) • Peer Learning Network of State Advocacy & Educare Leaders • Educare as a Platform for Policy Change • Policy Analysis and Dissemination
Takeaway 1: Federal Investment • Core federal investmentsin early learning for at-risk children are flat (Child Care) or higher (Head Start) post-recession than pre-recession • BUT • The recession increased the number of at-risk children • Federal investments are STILL insufficient to meet need
Takeaway 2: State Investment in PAR States • States continue to struggle since the recession to adequately invest in at-risk children • 14 of the 17 PAR states unable to sustain funding consistently • BUT • Some states largely sustaining all funding in FY12 and proposed FY13 • AND • States may be working on non-monetary changes to support early childhood
Takeaway 3: Significant Gaps Persist • Not enough eligible children can participate in programs • About 17% in child care • About 25% in preschool Head Start • About 3% in Early (infant-toddler) Head Start • About 3% in high-quality home visiting • Not enough invested on a per child basis to assure the quality that produces impactful outcomes
State Spending on PreK (50 States) Longitudinal spending for each state, FY2002-2011, via Google Motion
PAR State Policy Trends: Child Care FY2007-2011
PAR State Policy Trends: Child Care FY2012 and 13 • FY12 - Level investment or cuts to child care: • Most PAR states reduced investments, which occur as: • Across-the-board reductions • Reduced income eligibility limits • Increased parent costs • Decreased reimbursement • Quality infrastructure • Some held funding level or enacted smaller cuts than originally proposed (e.g., CA and IL) • OR was the only PAR state to increase funding • FY13 - Proposed or enacted cuts: • Deeper cuts proposed than FY12, especially AZ and CA • Some, like FL, held funding level • Others increased (NM) or restored (WA) investments
PAR State Policy Trends: PreK • FY2007-2011
PAR State Policy Trends: PreK • FY 2012 and FY 2013 • FY12 - reduced funding for PreK: • Many reduced funding, usually by reducing per-child expenditures • Only two (OR, WA) increased investment • FY13 - a mixed bag in PAR states: • Further cuts proposed in AZ, CA, IL • Increases (MI, NM, NY) or restoration (IL) proposed in several states • More increases to PreK than child care among the PAR states
PAR State Policy Trends: Home Visiting FY2007-2011
PAR State Policy Trends: Home Visiting FY 2012 and FY 2013 • Home visiting garnering increased attention • 2010 federal five-year, $1.5B Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) created first federal funding streams • FY 12 - level or increased funding • Increases in MI (one-time), WA • FL, NY, ME, WI successfully held funding level (even after proposals to cut it) • Cuts for IL, OK • FY 13 - proposed or enacted • Increased funding in NM • FL and NY maintain funding • For the second year in a row, IL and ME are fighting against significant cuts
PAR State Policy Trends: State Investment in • Head Start/Early Head Start • FY 2012 and FY 2013 • 4 PAR states have/have had state-funded Head Start (HS): ME, NM, OK, WI • 2 have state-funded Early Head Start (EHS): KS, OR • State investments in HS and EHS rarely more than $10M • Increasingly hard to sustain – WI and KS both suffered cuts in FY12, but OR restored a shortfall; proposed cuts in ME in FY13
State-Specific Highlights: Progress and Challenges Arizona • Progress: • First Things First - financed with 80 cents cigarettes for education and health, dedicated to early childhood. • Sales Tax initiative on the November ballot for preschool, state match for child care subsidy, and restore KidsCare (health insurance). • Challenges: • Last year, a ballot initiative threatened to eliminate First Things First. • No state funding for child care or PreK proposed for FY 13. • KidsCare (state children’s health insurance program) has been frozen.
State-Specific Highlights: Progress and Challenges California • Progress: • October 2011-First 5 State Commission allocated $45M a year for 3 years to systematically support high quality in child care/early learning through Child Signature Program • California participating in Round 1 Race to the Top: Early Learning Challenge funds. • Challenges: • California has proposed significant and devastating cuts to Child Care and PreK in FY12 and 13. • California has proposed removal of early learning from consolidated governance at Department of Education and into a devolved county social services structure.
State-Specific Highlights: Progress and Challenges Illinois • Progress: • Illinois has leveraged Education funding through an Early Childhood Block Grant for preschool and home visiting; a 20% set-aside for infants and toddlers. • Illinois to participate in next round of Race to the Top: Early Learning Challenge. • Illinois a state leader for home visiting, prior to Affordable Care Act federal funding. • Challenges: • Illinois structural deficit is significant: consistent cuts to child care, PreK, and Home Visiting over the past few years. • In May 2012, Department of Human Services announced it would not be able to pay child care for the remainder of the fiscal year.
State-Specific Highlights: Progress and Challenges Kansas • Progress: • In 2008, Kansas Early Childhood Block Grant (ECBG) created at $11.8M with funding from tobacco revenue; at least 30% earmarked for infant and toddler programs (including some of KEHS) • THE ECBG awards grants to create new services, expand current high-quality services or enhance existing services in order to increase the range of evidence-based programs that serve at-risk children ages birth to five. • Challenges: • Progressively lower tobacco revenues and a conservative political environment have threatened the block grant -especially Kansas Early Head Start - for the past two years.
State-Specific Highlights: Progress and Challenges Maine • Progress: • Strong Quality Rating and Improvement System • Successful preservation of home visiting commitment • Challenges: • In FY13, Gov. LePage’s proposed budget eliminates all state child care funding and state Head Start funding, and reduces home visiting funds by $2.6M.
State-Specific Highlights: Progress and Challenges Michigan • Progress: • The Governor’s FY13 budget preserves or increases all early childhood programs; legislature proposed increasing PreK by $10M. • New Office of Great Start within the Michigan Department of Education to improve early childhood and streamline funding. • Challenges: • Resource development • Need strong focus on improving the quality of early learning programs
State-Specific Highlights: Progress and Challenges Oregon • Progress: • One of a few states to increase investment in early childhood programs, e.g. $1M for EHS in FY2011 • Gov. Kitzhaber has merged education planning from birth through college under the Oregon Investment Board; clear set of priorities for early learning. • Oregon to participate in next round of Early Learning Challenge • Challenges: • Resource development
State-Specific Trends Colorado • Will participate in next round of Early Learning Challenge • Hickenlooper administration publicly supportive of EC • Strong EC philanthropic community • Proposal to create new early childhood office did not make it through the legislature • Taxpayer Bill of Rights limits state revenue growth • Strong local control results in inequitable policies across counties and limits statewide policy development
State-Specific Trends Florida • Has managed to hold most funding level • Recent legislative battles over quality requirements in CC licensing • Conservative environment
State-Specific Trends Mississippi
State-Specific Trends Nebraska In 2006, legislation passed to create the Sixpence Early Childhood Endowment, more than half of which goes to home visiting programs.
State-Specific Trends New Mexico • New Mexico to participate in next round of Early Learning Challenge • The NM PreK Program started in 2005 • NM recreating its Quality Rating and Improvement System
State-Specific Trends New York • Good progress linking EC to K-12 RTT efforts • Strong support for home visiting • Little to no revenue growth • Little to no prek program expansion • Lack of investment in statewide QRIS rollout
State-Specific Trends Oklahoma • The Oklahoma Early Childhood Pilot Program provides comprehensive, full-day, full-year services for at-risk children aged zero to four.
State-Specific Trends Washington • Increased PreK funding in FY12, cut child care but restored income eligibility to 200% FPL in the FY13 budget. • Developed a 0-3 plan at the request of the legislature • Participating in the Early Learning Challenge
State-Specific Trends Wisconsin • QRIS program, YoungStar, recently initiated with good support • Reduced Head Start support in FY2012 to $6.3 M, down by 10%
Hot Topic: Kindergarten Entry Assessments • Designed to assess readiness for kindergarten across all domains of child development. Purposes are to: • provide information to parents and families about their children’s developing skills • give teachers data-driven feedback to better equip them to meet the diverse needs of children in their classrooms • target professional development offerings • inform state-level policy decisions and investments • A competitive priority in the Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) competition • 13 out of the 17 PAR states have or are pursuing a KEA • 7 have a KEA – of these, 5 are local and 2 are statewide • 6 are pursuing a KEA
Hot Topic: Kindergarten Entry Assessments • Emerging as a funded initiative in non-Challenge states • Potential concern with current approach: • States not investing the necessary resources for quality improvement and professional development necessary for programs to improve and best meet needs of children • States not necessarily paying attention to context of family background as a factor in KEA • States isolating KEA from other developmentally appropriate assessment for infants, toddlers and preschoolers, as well as early grades
What’s on the Horizon for Early Learning? • Continued Challenges to the Work: • Doubt & ignorance about the science • Values • Independence, or self-reliance • Family privacy and responsibility, especially for infants and toddlers • The bootstrap mentality • Federal funding through Child Care and Head Start/Early Head Start remains core- little real progress being made in growing core funding
What’s on the Horizon for Early Learning? • Challenges (cont.) • Early Learning Challenge critically important for new strategy • quality as the baseline for public investment • not yet an ongoing funding stream • Quality Rating and Improvement System and KEA as state trends; impact potentially undercut by inadequate investment for appropriate design implementation and evaluation
What’s on the Horizon for Early Learning? • Challenges (cont.) • Strategies to successfully reach infants and toddlers, dual language learners with quality early learning
Thank you! For more information: Harriet Dichter Vice President, National Policy Ounce of Prevention Fund email@example.com
References • “2011 Yearbook Interactive Data.” National Institute for Early Education Research. Accessed 2 May 2012. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0ApWD2cb39EW9dGZLZDZjSG5PcnlIVXlCT0l6UzJ0OEE&output=html • “Average State Spending per Child Enrolled (2011 Dollars).” National Institute for Early Education Research. Accessed 4 May 2012. http://www.nieer.org/sites/nieer/files/content/images/Average%20State%20Spending%20per%20Child%20Enrolled%20%282011%20Dollars%29_0.jpg. • Council of Chief State School Officers. “Moving Forward with Kindergarten Readiness Assessment Efforts.” June 2011. http://www.ccsso.org/Documents/CCSSO_K-Assessment_Final_7-12-11.pdf. • Daily, Sarah, Mary Burkhauser and Tamara Hall. “A Review of School Readiness Practices in the States: Early Learning Guidelines and Assessments.” Early Childhood Highlights, Vol. 1, Issue 3 17 Jun 2010. Child Trends.
References (cont.) • “Early Care and Education Budget Actions.” National Conference of State Legislatures. Accessed 2 May 2012. http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/human-services/early-care-and-education-state-budget-actions-fy20.aspx. • Pew Center on the States. “States and the New Federal Home Visiting Initiative: An Assessment from the Starting Line.” Aug 2011. http://www.pewtrusts.org/uploadedFiles/wwwpewtrustsorg/Reports/Home_Visiting/Home_Visiting_August_2011_Report.pdf. • Stedron, Jennifer and Alexander Berger. “NCSL Technical Report: State Approaches to School Readiness Assessment.” National Conference of State Legislatures. August 2010. http://www.ncsl.org/documents/Educ/KindergartenAssessment.pdf.