State Child Care and Early Education Updates 2017

In 2017, many states made new or expanded investments in early care and education programs or strengthened their early care and education policies. States used the additional funding for purposes such as making child care assistance or prekindergarten available to more children and families and supporting increases in payment rates for child care providers. However, a number of states cut funding for early care and education programs, made it more difficult for families to access child care assistance, or took other steps backward. Some states increased funding for certain early care and education programs while cutting funding for others. None of the states provided funding increases or made policy improvements that were sufficient to fully address the unmet need for affordable, high-quality early care and education for families and their children. Federal and state policymakers still must make significant new investments and policy changes if families are to have access to the child care and early education opportunities that enable parents to work and children to get a strong start in school and in life.