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State Choices to Promote Access

Monthly child care co-payment fees as a
percent of income for a family of three 
with one child in care, 2016

Source1

National Assessment of Educational
Progress (NAEP) fourth grade math and
reading scores, 2015

Source2

  • Sets the income eligibility limit for child care subsidies at or above 200% FPL [2016]1
    A family of three qualifies for assistance at $26,112 or 130% FPL. This reflects an increase from 128% FPL in 2015.
  • Child care subsidy reimbursement rate meets the recommended 75th percentile of the market rate [2014]3
  • Provides families with at least 12 months of continuous eligibility for child care subsidies [FY 2015]4
    The redetermination period may be shorter than 12 months if the parent's authorized activity will last fewer than 12 months or if the parent fails to comply with program requirements.
  • Supplements Early Head Start [2012]5
  • Funds a pre-kindergarten program and/or supplements Head Start [FY 2015]6
    $38,624,146 for pre-kindergarten and Head Start
  • Requires districts to offer full day kindergarten [2016]7

State Choices to Promote Quality

  • Requires one adult for every four 18-month-olds, and a maximum class size of eight in child care centers [2013]8
    Child care regulations require one adult for every 7 children, and there is no maximum class size.
  • Allocates state or federal funds for a network of infant/toddler specialists that provide assistance to child care providers [2013]9
  • Has early learning standards or developmental guidelines for infants and toddlers [2016]10
  • Has an infant/toddler credential or certificate [2014]11
  • Requires that infants and toddlers in child care centers be assigned a consistent primary caregiver [2014]12
  • Requires one adult for every ten 4-year-olds, and a maximum class size of 20 in child care centers [2013]8
    Child care regulations require one adult for every 18 children, and there is no maximum class size.
  • Has implemented a statewide Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS) [2017]13
    Pilot QRIS launched and/or completed
  • Requires one teacher for every 18 students in kindergarten classrooms [2013]14
    Requires one teacher for every 18 students.
  • Has adopted Common Core Standards [2015]15
    NCCP believes that Common Core State Standards should be used in conjunction with guidelines for social emotional learning.
  • Has comprehensive, free-standing standards for social emotional learning at the K-12 level [2017]16
    Alabama has free standing standards for character development, but they are not comprehensive, nor do they develop SEL systematically across grade levels.
  

Data Notes and Sources

Last Updated: May 13, 2015

Send us recent developments to update your state's profile.

  1. Schulman, K., & Blank, H. (2016). Red Light Green Light: State Child Care Assistance Policies 2016. National Women's Law Center. https://nwlc.org (accessed December 14, 2016). Parents at 150% FPL ineligible in the following states: AL, AR, GA, ID, IA, MD, and MT.
  2. U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics. (2015). National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2015 Math and Reading Assessment. http://nces.ed.gov (accessed November 10, 2015).
  3. Schulman, Karen; Blank, Helen. 2014. Turning the Corner: State Child Care Assistance Policies 2014. National Women's Law Center. http://www.nwlc.org (accessed March 3, 2015).
  4. Stevens, K., Minton, S., Blatt, L., & Giannarelli, L. (2016). The CCDF Policies Database Book of Tables: Key Cross-State Variations in CCDF Policies as of October 1, 2015. OPRE Report 2016-94. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://www.acf.hhs.gov (accessed February 22, 2017).
  5. Colvard, Jamie; Schmit, Stephanie, Zero to Three and CLASP. (2012). Expanding Access to Early Head Start: State Initiatives for Infants and Toddlers at Risk. http://www.clasp.org (accessed August 15, 2013).
  6. Barnett, W. S., Friedman-Krauss, A. H., Gomez, R. E., Horowitz, M., Weisenfeld, G. G., & Squires, J. H. (2016). The State of Preschool 2015: State Preschool Yearbook. New Brunswick, NJ: National Institute for Early Education Research. http://nieer.org (accessed December 12, 2016).
  7. Parker, E., Diffey, L., & Atchison, B. (2016). Full-day kindergarten: A look across the states. Denver, CO: Education Commission of the States. http://www.ecs.org (accessed June 23, 2017).
  8. National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies. (2013). We Can Do Better: Child Care Aware of America's Ranking of State Child Care Center Regulations and Oversight. http://usa.childcareaware.org (accessed August 14, 2013).
  9. Schmit, S., Matthews, H., CLASP. (2013). Better for Babies: A Study of State Infant and Toddler Child Care Policies. http://www.clasp.org (accessed April 2, 2014).
  10. Administration for Children & Families, Office of Child Care. (2016). State/Territory Early Learning Guidelines. https://childcareta.acf.hhs.gov (accessed February 3, 2017).
  11. Administration for Children & Families, National Center on Child Care Professional Development Systems and Workforce Initiatives (PDW Center). (2014). State/Territory Infant/Toddler Credential Overview, April 2014. https://childcareta.acf.hhs.gov (accessed September 2, 2015)
  12. National Center on Child Care Quality Improvement & National Association for Regulatory Administration. (2015). Trends in child care center licensing regulations and policies for 2014. (Research Brief #1 ) (No. 314). Fairfax, VA: National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance. Https://childcareta.acf.hhs.gov (accessed June 23, 2017).
  13. QRIS National Learning Network. (2017). Current Status of QRIS in the States map. http://qrisnetwork.org (accessed February 7, 2017).
  14. Education Commission of the States. (2013). Early Learning: Kindergarten Online Database. http://ecs.force.com (accessed April 7, 2014).
  15. Achieve. (2015). Closing the Expectations Gap: 2013 Annual Report on the Alignment of State K-12 Policies and Practice with the Demands of College and Careers. http://www.achieve.org (accessed March 24, 2015).
  16. The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). (2017). K-12 Learning Goals for SEL in all 50 States. http://www.casel.org(accessed June 23, 2017).