Effective Systems

State Initiatives to Promote Early Learning: Next Steps in Coordinating Subsidized Child Care, Head Start, and State Prekindergarten


States often struggle with two key social goals: the need to promote school readiness for children and the need to support working families given increasing labor force participation among mothers with young children. This paper describes the challenges states face in addressing these issues, responses to these challenges, and recommendations for the future. The findings of the paper are based on examinations of three states with significant experience in developing a major early education initiative and coordination of subsidized child care, Head Start, and state prekindergarten systems. The profiled state initiatives are the Georgia Prekindergarten Program, Massachusetts’ Community Partnerships for Children Initiative, and Ohio’s state funding of Head Start and expansion of Head Start partnerships with child care programs.