Project Proposal for Early Childhood Development Projects by fcx13182

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									Return on Public Investments:
Early Learning Left Out

    September 15, 2005
    KIDS COUNT Conference
    Deborah Stein
    Director of Policy and Advocacy
    Voices for America’s Children
Voices For America’s Children
and its Members

   Voices represents and supports child
    advocacy organizations in states and
   60 member organizations in 45 states and 12
    cities and communities
   About 2/3 of KIDS COUNT grantees are
    Voices members.
Voices Members

   Citizen-based, non-profit, professional,
    independent child advocacy organizations
    receiving little or no public funding.
   Multi-issue organizations that view the
    child as a whole.
   Advocates, not direct service providers.
History of Project

   Voices (then NACA) started a budget project
    with 12 states in 1994
   In 1997, as part of that project, Voices
    decided to replicate a national study by Rand
    in those 12 states
   Ultimately, in 1998 Voices made this
    available to all its members and members in
    over 30 states chose to participate.
A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Numbers

   The study measured combined state and
    federal investments in children, by age group
   Results were reported in a chart that graphed
    cumulative investment against brain growth
   This picture really caught policy makers’
    attention—and allowed advocates to then
    explore the underinvestment in early years
2003-5 Early Learning Left Out

   The Center for Child and Family Policy in Iowa,
    Voices, and 11 other Voices members replicated
    this study in 2003, focusing only on investments in
    education and development
   This study looked at 3 age groups—early years,
    school aged years and college aged years
   We think these two projects are the only studies that
    look at the combined federal and state investment.
   A second round of states was released this spring
Composite 12-State
Brain Growth and Public Investments by Child Age






               0   2   4   6   8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24
               Brain Growth        Cumulative Public Investment
Early Learning as a Share of All State
             Health and
              Services       Other
               29.2%         18.1%


       and Public
                Higher       Education
               Education       30.5%
   Composite Nine-State & District of Columbia
Public Investments Compared to Child Brain Growth






               0    2   4   6   8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24
                                  Child Age
                   Brain Growth           Public Investment
Key Findings
   While 85% of a child's core brain structure is formed by age
    three, less than 4% of public investments on education and
    development have occurred by that time.
   On a per child basis, public investments in education and
    development are more than seven times greater during the
    school-aged years ($5,410 per child) than during the early
    learning years ($740 per child).
   On a per child basis, public investments in education and
    development are nearly five times greater during the college-
    aged years ($3,664 per youth/young adult) than during the early
    learning years.
   This means that for every dollar society invests in the education
    and development of a school-aged child, society invests only
    13.7 cents in that child during the earliest learning years – a
    major investment gap.
Key Findings

   This under-investment in young children also
    appears to be greatest for the very earliest and most
    formative years of life (the infant and toddler years –
    0–2). The largest share of the funding for education
    and development during the earliest years comes
    from federal programs (particularly federal funding
    for child care and Head Start), although the reverse
    – predominately state/local source of funding–is true
    for school-aged children.
   State investments in education and development in
    the earliest learning years constitute a very small
    percentage of overall public expenditures, in many
    states less than 1%.
Key Findings
   While most states have a number of early learning programs,
    most are small in scale and do not provide very comprehensive
    services or supports.

   Although there are some variations in spending across the states
    all show large investment gaps between investments made in the
    early learning years compared with those made in the school-
    aged and college-aged years.
Research Context of These Findings
Existing research on early learning needs and potential returns on
   investments provides evidence that:
 Families with young children are most likely to struggle
   economically and are least able to pay for additional educational
   and developmental services.
 Comprehensive, high quality investments in education and
   development in the early years have demonstrated high
   monetary returns-on-investment – both to government and
   society in reduced social costs and increased economic activity
   and to the individuals served in improved educational and
   economic status.
 There is strong public support and advocacy for expanding
   investments in early learning and closing the investment gap,
   because there is evidence of need and the potential for societal
   gains from investments.
Methods of Dissemination 1997 Study
Voices surveyed its members in 2002 to determine how they had
  used the 1997 study

   [Maine Children’s Alliance] met with individuals on three different
    legislative committees. Also met with staff of the legislative
    leaders to support committee decisions
   The targeted constituency was legislators and the materials were
    delivered by both CMC [Citizens for Missouri’s Children] staff
    and other early care and education advocates, usually as a fact
    sheet. This year [2002], we are using it again in our annual Kids
    Count report, as part of our discussion about the state budget
Methods of Dissemination

   [Arizona Children’s Action Alliance] used it in many
    venues, including a frequent overhead for
    presentations and included it in a report.
   [Citizens Committee for the Children of NY] sent me
    copies of their city budget document that includes
    the chart. ―It worked great last year as a visual -
    learning tool for elected officials. ‖
   [Children’s Advocacy Institute, CA] used the Study
    data as part of our annual Children's Budget
    publications in 2000 -2003, as well as Voices
    gathered data and commentary re federal spending
    programs generally.
Methods of Dissemination

   We [Colorado Children’s Campaign] have a "Kids
    Caucus" -- an ad hoc committee in the legislature
    that the CCC created and staffs. We did a private
    briefing for those 15 members and asked them their
    reaction to the study and graph. We asked for their
    advice about a strategy for educating other policy
    makers. They were so enthusiastic about the graph
    that we knew we had a powerful tool. They told us
    that legislators are inundated with data, but if we
    had a proposal for policy change and used the data
    to explain our proposal, that the legislative hearing
    environment would be the best place to educate
Methods of Dissemination
   We [Kansas Action for Children] used the chart as the cover on a
    publication on the policy implications of the new brain
    development research. It received an enthusiastic reception by
    the early care and education organizations that are our traditional
    allies, who began using it to educate their members. Of greater
    impact was the positive response of policymakers. For example,
    the governor and key legislative leaders sponsored a statewide
    conference on brain development research, and the organizers
    of the conference requested enough copies of the report to
    include one in each participant packet. Most gratifying was the
    time that a legislator showed a copy of the chart to his colleagues
    to emphasize his point as part of a debate on the floor of the
    House. The chart and publication was also used and referred to
    during committee discussion and was distributed widely
    throughout the state
Methods of Dissemination

    PPC (Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children)
    published a special report in September 1998 for
    policymakers in the General Assembly and
    Executive Branch. PPC conducted a press briefing
    and a briefing for legislators on the report. The
    graph was used in every budget year by PPC during
    legislative briefings to show the inverse relationship
    between brain growth in the early years of life and
    public investment on education, services and
    supports in those years. PPC used the report to
    emphasize the need to redress the imbalance in
    public sector funding to children’s early years.

   In 1998, Citizens for Missouri’s Children used
    it to help secure $21 million annually for early
    care and education.
   [Kansas Action for Children] think[s] it played
    an important role in creating more attention
    on early childhood issues and paved the way
    for programs such as Smart Start.
   The Voices paper and PPC (Pennsylvania) paper were the
    seminal intellectual and scientific cornerstones to PPC’s
    advocacy agenda that helped lead to Pennsylvania investing
    over $120 million over three years in early childhood services
    and supports. The efforts generated widespread legislative
    support, particularly among key legislative leaders. The former
    governor’s administration continued to resist a preschool
    investment, but the impact of the ―brain paper‖ and other support
    research resonated through the 2002 gubernatorial election,
    when both major party candidates acknowledged Pennsylvania’s
    failure and committed to early learning investments. They cited
    research on brain growth in their position papers, news
    conferences and debates. The governor-elect has pledged pre-
    kindergarten for all 4-year-olds and other early learning

   [Maine Children’s Alliance] used the charts
    and information to support significant funding
    increases for early care and education that
    results in about 12 million for increases in
    child care subsidies, Head Start, etc plus
    parent education and tax incentives as well
    as scholarship funds and general support for
    improving quality child care… this was Start
    Me Right

   From that advice we [Colorado Children’s
    Campaign] proposed that state government
    consolidate the 24 different federal and
    state funding streams that distract child care
    programs from quality improvements, teacher
    training, etc. This became the Colorado
    Consolidated Child Care Pilot Project, a child care
    reform effort that has received national attention and
    has generated additional public and private
    funding for child care serving low income children.
Outcomes (Indirect)
   At that time, we had a Governor who was a child advocate. He
    was already on board. In fact, his budget staff helped us with the
    project. The governor was so interested in the budget analysis
    that after we were done with our project, he asked his budget
    director to look at the entire state budget and quantify the percent
    of public funding that goes into prevention programs for all ages
    of children and youth versus treatment and crisis intervention.
    Out of this came the figure 10/90. Ten percent of Colorado state
    funding (excluding K-12) goes toward prevention and early
    intervention programs. Ninety percent goes into treatment and
    crisis intervention. The Governor presented this analysis at the
    NGA annual meeting in 1999. I still get calls about it from
    Governor's Offices in other states.
Reason for Effectiveness

   Voices members identified the visual
    effectiveness of the chart as key
   It was a good graphic way to clearly show
    that spending priorities for kids was out of
    sync. [Arizona]
Reason for Effectiveness

   We [Colorado] found that the impact came
    from 1) the credibility it gave our organization
    2) the training it let us give our grassroots
    network because if gave them evidence-
    based talking points 3) the media will almost
    always cover a new set of data on an issue
    and we were able to create statewide and
    local media stories with the graph and 4)
    legislators asked us what it meant and what
    we suggested they do about the findings.
2003 and 2005 Report Release

   Did not attract national media
   Has drawn significant notice from national
    policy organizations
   Did draw attention where released in the
Dissemination Methods—2003 Study at
State Levels
   The data was used and disseminated by the Arizona
    Governor's State School Readiness Board to
    demonstrate the importance of early care and
    education. Children's Action Alliance, AZ
   We did use it in fact sheets prepared for the
    legislature and in presentations given at various
    advocacy days. No cuts were made in state
    investment in early care. The chart will also be
    included in at least one publication being prepared
    by our state Child & Family Policy Center. (MO)
Methods of Dissemination—2003 Study in
   We did not do a big release of it (yet), because there was too
    much else going on at that time, and no significant budget
    decisions coming up in the legislature relating to early education.
    However, we distributed copies to various groups, including the
    early education subcommittee of a special committee that the
    Governor set up to make recommendations relating to school
    financing. The subcommittee and full committee made a number
    of recommendations to help expand funding for and access to
    four-year-old kindergarten, and those recommendations were
    endorsed by the Governor last month when he announced his
    Kids First initiatives (most of which will have to be implemented
    in the next biennial budget). I can't say with any confidence that
    the report played a key role in achieving that outcome, but I think
    it helped. (WI)
Methods of Dissemination—2003 Study in
   We released the report along with a report that we
    produced on state spending on early education and
    care (as part of our Budget Watch project), and the
    Early Learning report was the lead, and caught the
    attention of the media. We are continuing to use the
    data in our work with the Governor's Children's
    Action Network, that is developing a plan for a
    universal system of care for children ages 0 to 5. It
    is very useful groundwork for our early childhood
    efforts in Michigan.
Methods of Dissemination—2003 Study in
   We shared this data with the Sioux Falls business
    community at our Spring Seminar on "Early
    Childhood Investment = Economic Development".
    We also shared it with Sioux Fall's Tomorrow as
    they completed their 10 year visioning process for
    our community and it encouraged them to add a
    goal calling for full access to quality preK and quality
    child care. Next month we plan to present to the
    Legislative Taskforce on Childcare. We have also
    shared it with a number of other groups (SD Alliance
    for Child Care, Economic Impact of Child Care
    Advisory Group, Family Voices, etc.) and it is always
    well received. (SD)
Outcomes from New Study

   Too early to have a full picture
   In states that produced the report, useful tool
   Even in states that were not included in the
    report, its been helpful

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