This year, a total of 23 governors (14 Republicans and 9 Democrats) mentioned early care and education in their State of the State Addresses. A few of these governors offered specific proposals to increase families’ access to affordable, high-quality child care and early education. For example, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy proposed to provide an additional $57.6 million for the state prekindergarten program as a step toward making it available statewide, while also proposing the establishment of a new child and dependent care tax credit for middle-class and working families. New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez proposed $25 million in additional funding for child care and $8 million in additional funding for prekindergarten. Alabama Governor Kay Ivey proposed to increase funding for the state prekindergarten program by $23 million. However, some governors mentioned early care and education without discussing specific plans for new policies or investments. It is important that governors not just acknowledge the importance of early care and education, but also follow through with concrete steps to expand child care and early education opportunities for children and families. All governors should recognize that such investments in high-quality child care and early education greatly benefit their states by helping children start on a path to success in school and in life and by enabling parents to work and contribute to their states’ economies.
This document provides excerpts from governors’ addresses related to early care and education, along with links to each governor’s complete State of the State Address (or, in the case of the Kansas, New Jersey, and Virginia governors, who were newly sworn in at the beginning of 2018 and did not deliver State of the State Addresses, the Budget Address or the Address to the Joint Assembly).