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State legislation and early childhood systems building, 2010-2015

States are successfully working with their legislatures and governors to pass legislation that supports comprehensive early childhood (EC) systems, with a focus on better integration of programs, policies, and services to benefit young children and their families. This report profiles six diverse States that have successfully passed legislation aimed at advancing their EC system. EC system-building is the ongoing process of developing the structures, behaviors, and connections that make all the components of an EC system operate as a whole to promote shared results for children and families (please see Appendix A for a graphical representation of the EC system and systems-building strategies). Through legislative action, States are addressing various areas to drive change. Common legislative focus areas across the six States include governance, leadership and advisory committees, child care subsidy modifications, accountability systems, quality incentives and requirements, and prekindergarten expansion. The State legislation profiled in this report illustrates a new era in EC policymaking. The provisions are designed to build a stronger and more coordinated system to serve young children and their families. Methodology This report profiles six States that have successfully passed legislation aimed at improving their EC systems. Key informants who track legislation at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), the National Governor's Association, and the Alliance for Early Success assisted us in identifying six geographically and politically diverse States for inclusion in this report: Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Nebraska, Oregon, and Washington. (author abstract)
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