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The 2020 State Policy Update Report

Hear from early childhood experts on top-line trends that emerged within Start Early’s 2020 State Policy Update Report and what they may mean for 2021.

January 8, 2021
  • Policy and Systems
  • Blog
  • Presentation

The Start Early 2020 State Policy Update Report provides a snapshot of early childhood care and education budget and policy changes during the 2019-2020 state legislative sessions as of November 2020. Despite unprecedented circumstances, states made progress expanding access to and improving the quality of early learning programs and building more effective early childhood systems. Representatives from a total of 28 states and Washington, D.C. responded and are featured in the 2020 report.

As advocates, system leaders and policy makers prepare for 2021 legislative sessions, there are no shortages of reports, briefs and publications to pour over to inform the development of legislative agendas. Yet, this report offers a few features that we believe offer unique value to readers. Start Early’s 2020 State Policy Update Report:

  1. Captures the Learning Journey of Policy & Advocacy: The report explores not only what passed, but what is still pending and what failed to achieve passage. We believe we benefit as much from learning about and capturing what didn’t work, as we do from celebrating what did.
  2. Tells Stories from the Field: Only capturing quantitative progress can miss the nuance of progress and the importance of partnerships in this work. Each section of the report features stories of success from our partners – in their own words – that add powerful context to the data.
  3. Covers the Full Early Childhood System: The report offers information on the administrative, budgetary and legislative changes across the following topics: Early Care & Education, Early Intervention, Infant & Maternal Health, Mental & Behavioral Health, Family Resiliency, Home Visiting, Workforce & Higher Education, Revenue, Governance and Data.
  4. Acknowledges Complex Pandemic Impacts: This year’s survey asked respondents to categorize their responses based on whether they were adopted in response to the pandemic and what, if any, advocacy priorities were put on hold.
Watch the Webinar Recording

State Policy Update Report Launch Webinar & Panel

In this spirit of learning, storytelling and centering equity, we hosted a webinar and discussion where we dug into the top-line trends that emerged from the data and stories we collected and considered what they may mean for 2021. To dig deeper into the experiences of community and state advocates, Start Early’s webinar included a panel discussion with Mary Gaul (Executive Director, Northwest New Mexico First Born Program), Amy O’Leary (Director of Early Education for All, a campaign of Strategies for Children), and Bridget Tobey (Child Care & Development Subsidy Manager, Cherokee Nation). Thank you to our panelists for sharing their insights! Check out the conversation’s recording.