Expanding Access to Early Head Start: State Initiatives for Infants and Toddlers at Risk

Sep 13, 2012

By Stephanie Schmit

Today, CLASP and ZERO TO THREE (ZTT), released the new report Expanding Access to Early Head Start: State Initiatives for Infants and Toddlers at Risk, which highlights current state initiatives to expand and enhance Early Head Start (EHS) services for infants, toddlers, and their families.

CLASP and ZTT found that 23 states are using at least one of four approaches to build on the federally funded EHS program:

  • Nine states have initiatives that extend the day or year of existing EHS services
  • Nineteen states have initiatives that expand the capacity of EHS programs to increase the number of children and pregnant women served
  • Two states provide resources and assistance to child care providers
  • Six states support partnerships between EHS and center-based and/or family child care providers

Conversations with states revealed five primary findings within and across the four approaches:

State initiatives to extend the day of EHS services are funded through a variety of sources and policy strategies. States use various sources to fund initiatives that extend the day or year, including tobacco settlement funds, state general revenue, Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), and private foundation funds.

Several states are utilizing Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) funding to expand EHS services. MIECHV funding has provided states with a new opportunity to expand the capacity of EHS programs and increase the number of children and pregnant women served.

The majority of these states have supplemental funding initiatives in which both existing Head Start and EHS grantees are eligible to participate. States provide both funding and strategic guidance to strengthen the relationships between EHS and child care.

Two states, Illinois and Oklahoma, continue to provide resources to child care providers. These resources include funding, training, and technical assistance, but vary depending on the initiative.

In addition to providing resources for providers, several states continue to encourage EHS-child care partnerships.

The report explores these state EHS initiatives as well as provides recommendation by CLASP and ZTT that can help more states expand or further invest in EHS so that children and families across the country can access services that provide support to families and help children grow and develop to become healthy and productive adults.  

Read the full report, Expanding Access to Early Head Start: State Initiatives for Infants and Toddlers at Risk>>

 

 

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