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Notable State Infant/Toddler & Early Childhood Financing Strategies. Lynn Jones, ZERO TO THREE April 2008. Early Experiences Matter Brain Architecture Builds Over Time.

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Notable state infant toddler early childhood financing strategies

Notable State Infant/Toddler & Early Childhood Financing Strategies


April 2008

Early experiences matter brain architecture builds over time
Early Experiences Matter StrategiesBrain Architecture Builds Over Time

Source: Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University (2007). A Science-Based Framework for Early Childhood Policy: Using Evidence to Improve Outcomes in Learning, Behavior, and Health for Vulnerable Children.

Disparities manifest early
Disparities Manifest Early Strategies

Source: Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University (2007). A Science-Based Framework for Early Childhood Policy: Using Evidence to Improve Outcomes in Learning, Behavior, and Health for Vulnerable Children.

States are responding
States Are Responding Strategies

  • States are increasing financial investments in services and programs for infants, toddlers and preschool aged children as an important economic development strategy with long term societal benefits.

  • Positive development can be enhanced by: intensive family supports, good quality center-based and home-based services for all children and particularly for those who are at-risk, assess to medical care for pregnant women and children, and responsiveness to community needs and preferences.

  • Will look at 4 notable investment strategies used by states:

    • Portion of education block grant set aside for services to infants, toddlers and their families (Illinois)

    • An endowment grant fund (Nebraska)

    • Tax strategy (Arizona)

    • Public-Private partnerships (Washington State & North Carolina)

Illinois set aside
Illinois Set-Aside Strategies

  • IL Board of Education’s Early Childhood Education Block Grant (enacted in 1997) funds services for children 0 - 5 & their families.

  • Portion of the Block Grant is set aside for programs to families with children 0-3. Initially was 8% of total funds; in 2004 the General Assembly increased the infant-toddler set-aside to 11%.

  • Funded through state general revenue, supporting over 1,000 programs serving children under age 5.

  • School districts and other entities (i.e. Head Start, child care, family support and parenting programs) apply for funds through an annual grant request process that includes funding criteria. The average grant award for individual programs serving at-risk children is $140,000.

  • Contact info: Nancy Shier, Ounce of Prevention Fund [email protected], 312.922.3863 or Kay Henderson, Illinois State Board of Education at [email protected], 217.524.4835.

Nebraska endowment fund
Nebraska Endowment Fund Strategies

  • In 2006 NE legislators established the Early Childhood Education Endowment Grant program and voters approved a constitutional amendment to allow “perpetual school funds” for early education.

  • Created an early education endowment fund and moved $40 million state dollars into it. Requires $20 million in private funds to be raised within 5 years (2011) - –should generate $5-7 million annually.

  • Interest & income from the fund can be used exclusively for grants to schools and community partners to provide programs/services for at-risk children 0-3 and is an expansion of the existing Early Childhood Education Grant Programfor 3 and 4 year olds

  • The legislation established a Board of Trustees (trustees) to administer the endowment. 

  • More information:; Becky Veak and Jennifer Hernandez, Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, 402.476.9401, [email protected]

Arizona tax strategy early childhood development health initiative prop 203
Arizona Tax Strategy: Early Childhood StrategiesDevelopment & Health Initiative (Prop 203)

  • Arizona voters approved the Early Childhood Development and Health Initiative (Prop 203), a First Things First Initiative.

  • Expected to raise as much as $150 million a year from a tax of 4 cents per cigarette (80 cents/pack), 8 cents per cigar and 9 cents per ounce of other tobacco products.

  • Funds used to increase quality and access to early childhood development and health programs and services (as well as family support, professional development, coordination and public information) for children birth to kindergarten age.

  • The law established a state board and regional partnership councils.

  • Establishes a delivery system rooted in local communities and ensures 90% of dollars are dedicated to programs and only 10% applied to administrative costs.

  • More information:; contact Karen Woodhouse, Deputy Director, First Things First 602.771.5100 or Nadine Mathis Basha, Chair of First Things First Board, 480.664.3377, [email protected]

Thrive by five washington public private partnership
Thrive By Five Washington Strategies(Public-Private Partnership)

  • In 2006, top government, business and philanthropic leaders joined to create Thrive by Five Washington, a nonprofit corporation,

  • A public-private partnership established to enhance existing early learning efforts, including parent education and support, child care, and preschool for families with children ages 5 and under.

  • Thrive By Five is governed by a board of directors of funding partners.

  • The partners donated $9 million to get Thrive by Five off the ground; expect to raise about $10 million a year over the next decade.

  • Will earmark dollars through pooled investments (money collected by partners to co-invest for common outcomes) and aligned investments (independently invested by partners for shared outcomes).

  • Work in 4 areas: demonstration communities, promising models, statewide infrastructure, parent education.

  • More information:; Graciela Italiano-Thomas, President & CEO, 206.621.5551, [email protected]

North carolina smart start public private partnership
North Carolina Smart Start Strategies(Public- Private Partnership)

  • In 1993, Gov. Jim Hunt & NC legislature established Smart Start, a statewide public-private school readiness initiative.

  • Funded jointly by the state and business, philanthropies, and individuals; 2006 dollars totaled more than $260 million of which $203 million were public dollars.

  • Have leveraged over $200 million in private support since 1995 from about 75 private entities.

  • Governed by a state Partnerships for Children Board with 79 local partnerships in all 100 counties.

  • At least 70% of funds used to improve the quality, accessibility, and affordability of children for children 0-5; remaining funds used for health & famiy support services/programs.

  • More information:; Stephanie Fanjuli, President, [email protected] or Gerry Cobb, Smart Start National Technical Assistance Center, [email protected]