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State Choices to Promote Access

  • 13 states set the income eligibility limit for child care subsidies at or above 200% FPL. [2015]1
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  • 1 state [2014]2
  • 29 states redetermine the eligibility for child care subsidies no more than once per year [FY2014]3
  • 23 states state supplements Early Head Start [2012]4
  • 41 states fund a pre-kindergarten program and/or supplement Head Start. [FY2014]5
  • 12 states requires districts to offer full day kindergarten [2014]6

State Choices to Promote Quality

  • 7 states require one adult for every four 18-month-olds, and a maximum class size of eight in child care centers. [2013]7
  • 26 states allocate state or federal funds for a network of infant/toddler specialists that provide assistance to child care providers. [2013]8
  • 51 states have early learning standards or developmental guidelines for infants and toddlers. [2014]9
  • 28 states have an infant/toddler credential. [2014]10
  • 23 states require through regulation that infants and toddlers in child care centers be assigned a consistent primary caregiver. [FY 2013]11
  • 15 states require one adult for every 10 4-year-olds, and a maximum class size of 20 in child care centers. [2013]7
  • 40 states have implemented a statewide Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS) [2015]12
  • 8 states requires one teacher for every 18 students in Kindergarten classrooms [2013]13
  • 44 states state has adopted Common Core Standards [2015]14
  • 4 states state has comprehensive, free-standing standards for social emotional learning at the K-12 level [FY2015]15

Data Notes and Sources

Last Updated: May 13, 2015

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

  1. Schulman, Karen; Blank, Helen. 2015. Building Blocks State Child Care Assistance Policies 2015. National Women's Law Center. Http:// (accessed November 11, 2015). Families not eligible at 150% FPL for the following states: AL, AR, GA, ID, IA, KY, MD, MI, MT, NE and NV.
  2. Schulman, Karen; Blank, Helen. 2014. Turning the Corner: State Child Care Assistance Policies 2014. National Women's Law Center. (accessed March 3, 2015).
  3. Minton, Sarah; Stevens, Kathryn, Stevens; Blatt, Lorraine; and Durham, Christin. 2015. The CCDF Policies Database Book of Tables: Key Cross-State Variations in CCDF Policies as of October 1, 2014. OPRE Report 2015-95. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Http:// (accessed February 18, 2016).
  4. Colvard, Jamie; Schmit, Stephanie, Zero to Three and CLASP. 2012. Expanding Access to Early Head Start: State Initiatives for Infants and Toddlers at Risk. (accessed August 15, 2013).
  5. Barnett, W.S., Carolan, M.E., Squires, J.H., Clarke Brown, K., & Horowitz, M. (2015). The state of preschool 2014: State preschool yearbook. New Brunswick, NJ: National Institute for Early Education Research. (accessed February 29, 2016)
  6. Education Commission of the States. 2014. Early Learning: Kindergarten Online Database. (accessed March 3, 2015).
  7. 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. (accessed August 14, 2013).
  8. Schmit, Stephanie; Matthews, Hannah, CLASP. 2013. Better for Babies: A Study of State Infant and Toddler Child Care Policies. (accessed April 2, 2014).
  9. Administration for Children & Families, Office of Child Care. 2014. State/Territory Early Learning Guidelines. (accessed September 3, 2015)
  10. 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. (accessed September 2, 2015)
  11. National Association for Regulatory Administration. 2014.The 50-State Child Care Licensing Study, 2011-2013 Edition. (accessed April 8, 2014).
  12. QRIS National Learning Network. 2015. Current Status of QRIS in the States map. (accessed March 16, 2015).
  13. Education Commission of the States. 2013. Early Learning: Kindergarten Online Database. (accessed April 7, 2014).
  14. 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. (accessed March 24 2015).
  15. Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). 2015. Identifying K-12 Standards for SEL in all 50 States. (accessed February 18, 2016).