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Spaces & Places ECFC Member Huddle: Let’s Talk State Legislative Sessions! 

This event was held on January 25, 2024 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EST

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Many state legislative sessions start this month or soon.   We know our members engage deeply in state policy – through their grantees and directly.  Our huddle provided space for members to compare notes and swap ideas about what’s happening in their states, and how they are thinking about their role.   We were pleased to have colleagues from the National Council of State Legislatures focused on children and families issues join us – Wade Fickler and Jenna Bannon – to listen and learn, and to share resources for funders to connect with what’s happening in their states.

See related resource below. ECFC members can contact [email protected] for discussion notes and to connect with other members on the huddle.

Event Takeaways

Related Resources on State Actions & Priorities

 

  • National Council of State Legislature (NCSL): 50 State Searchable Bill Tracking Database, Find the most comprehensive and complete 50-state information in NCSL's searchable bill tracking databases, including databases on Early Childhood, Child Welfare, Ballot Initiatives, and more. Updated weekly, searchable by subtopics, year, status (e.g., pending, enacted, to governor, etc.) and keywords.  NCSL also tracks states with Citizens Initiatives and Popular Referendums, two forms of direct democracy. Searchable by state.
  • Bipartisan Policy Center: 50-state analysis of child welfare legislation summarizes state legislation on a range of child welfare topics that are relevant to the health and well-being of young children who are at risk of child maltreatment and/or already involved in child welfare.
  • The Children's Funding Project: Voter Approved Children’s Funds, provides an interactive map and resources on voter-approved local public revenue that is dedicated to children’s services outside of the K-12 school day in an election by the voters.

2023 Actions and Considerations Coming into 2024:

 

Child Tax Credit:

 

 State Level Early Childhood Offices/Initiatives:

 

  • Co-Creation: Viewing Partnerships Through a New Lens, is a series of case studies about the Connecticut Early Childhood Funder Collaborative's emerging systems change collaboration model which grew out of a funder-and-state partnership. This unique partnership led to the creation by executive order of a new and independent Office of Early Childhood, which was formally approved by the Connecticut State Legislature in 2013.
  • Connecticut 's Governor recently appointed a Blue Ribbon Panel to overhaul the early childhood system.   
  • Effective State Offices of Early Learning: Structural Features, Enabling Conditions, and Key Functions in Four States, A new study from NIEER summarizes literature regarding leadership in State Offices of Early Learning (SOEL) exploring how teams implement policy, and how an enabling environment with a commitment to a shared vision can produce a coherent and aligned early childhood education system that leads to improved outcomes for participating children, especially those who are most vulnerable.  Examples from four states include: Alabama, Michigan, New Jersey, West Virginia.
  • North Carolina once led the way in early childhood policy and investment. Five other states are showing us how to do it again.  This article is a “lessons for North Carolina” commentary, but it focuses on several elements of state EC oversight that we talked about and provides “lessons from leading states” around:  Advocacy from the business community (includes example from (Vermont/Let’s Grow Kids); Grassroots organizing (includes example from New Mexico); Streamlining governance (includes example from MI Department that brings together early childhood to higher education, including MI Tri-Share).  Examples are also included from Massachusetts and Oregon.

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