Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/key-questions-for-the-year-ahead/5020394/The new year is finally here! Our resolutions are made and we're looking forward to what the year ahead holds for our programs and the children and families we serve. Some things are largely in our control — matters of will power or planning; others require us to be nimble in responding to changing conditions and competing priorities.
Now, with the federal budget process predictably off schedule and gridlock seemingly the normal traffic pattern in Washington, with the economy struggling and state governments reeling, it's hard to predict the future. Here are some key questions as we look to the public policy landscape in child care and early learning in 2012.
How Will ECE Fare in the States?
How will states treat early childhood education in the coming legislative sessions? From licensing requirements to quality initiatives, and funding levels to program requirements, state decisions often define the most critical parameters within which programs must operate.
In 2011, many states' budgets were squeezed and governors and legislators made decisions that in turn squeezed provider and family budgets. From Arizona to North Carolina, and from Ohio to Georgia, we saw parents lose access to some of the best programs. Elsewhere quality initiatives were postponed, cut back, ...