A total of 27 governors (14 Democrats and 13 Republicans) referenced early care and education in their 2015 State of the State addresses. These governors recognize the important role of child care and early education in giving children a strong start in school and in life, helping parents work so they can support their families, and ensuring their states’ economic prosperity. Many of these governors offered specific proposals to increase the accessibility and quality of early care and education. For example, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton proposed $372 million in new funding for early care and education, including for prekindergarten programs, child care scholarships, Head Start, home visits to support families with very young children, and child care tax credits. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon proposed to provide an additional $11 million for prekindergarten. Indiana Governor Mike Pence indicated that the state planned to provide $10 million for the state’s pilot prekindergarten program. Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant proposed to double funding for the state’s prekindergarten program, to a total of $6 million. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf proposed to increase the number of children in prekindergarten by 75 percent. Alabama Governor Robert Bentley discussed the goal of making prekindergarten classes available to every child in his state, and, similarly, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy declared the goal of making prekindergarten universally available in his state.
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