Voices’ Blog

Budget Amendments related to Early Care and Education

Posted:  -  By: Voices for VA's Kids

House and Senate budget amendments are now available online. We are busy reviewing amendments relevant to children’s issues. Here are the most relevant amendments related to early care and education. You can access all of the amendments on the State Budget website.

Restore Cuts to Early Childhood Home Visiting

  • Home visiting is listed as a priority of the Unified Early Childhood Legislative Agenda.
  • Budget cuts since 2009 have reduced state funding for home visiting by more than one-third and have caused the closure or downsizing of these programs in many communities. Investing in home visiting with ensure that families are off to the right start and children are prepared for school.
  • Both the Senate and the House have budget amendments for CHIP of Virginia/Parents as Teachers and Healthy Families of Virginia.

Fund the Shortfall in Early Intervention Services

  • Early Intervention/Part C is listed as a priority of the Unified Early Childhood Legislative Agenda
  • The Governor has proposed adding $2.3 million for services in FY 13 and $3 million in FY 14, but additional funding is needed to meet the $8.5 million shortfall.
  • Since 2007, the number of infants and toddlers identified for services has increased 52%. Without additional funds, infants and toddlers identified for services could be put on waiting lists or see their services cut. 
  • Both the House and the Senate have introduced budget amendments:

Expand Access to the Virginia Preschool Initiative for Low Income Students

  • Around one-fourth of funded Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) opportunities go unused because of the local option to fund the program. There are several budget amendments that seek to ease the burden on localities and expand the program to more at-risk students.

Leverage the Smart Beginnings Network for Innovation in Early Care and Education

  • Nearly 100 communities support local school readiness initiatives through the Smart Beginnings network. Funding for these communities is necessary to leverage public/private dollars and to continue to build our early childhood system.
    • The Governor has included a proposal to restore funding to the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation to pilot the use of Kindergarten Readiness Assessment. 
    • Local communities could also have the chance to participate in a STEM model program for pre-K and Kindergarten. (Item 343 #8h– May/343 #8s- Howell


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