Voices’ Blog

Early Childhood Education Budget Details- Gov. Northam’s Proposed Budget

Posted:  -  By: Emily Griffey

As we learned from the exciting announcements from December 9th on maternal health and December 10th on early education, Governor Northam’s FY2021-2022 budget makes significant investments in healthy births and young children. These investments will help to close the opportunity gaps and help to ensure all children enter school healthy and ready to learn. Read more about the budget proposals here:

An additional $95 M to serve economically disadvantaged 3 & 4 year-olds in public and private preschool

Low-income families and children will benefit from additional support to attend preschool. Private preschool providers will benefit from tools and incentives to support mixed-delivery. Localities will benefit from additional in-kind contributions for local match and flexibility to collaborate among programs. These proposals include:

  • Increasing the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) per pupil amount to $6,959 in FY21 & $7,655 in FY22;
  • Providing an $2,500 incentive per child to promote mixed-delivery of services through private providers for approximately 2,000 students;
  • Providing an additional $13 M over two years to fund increased VPI class sizes and teacher to student ratios;
  • Increasing the in-kind contribution for local match from 25 percent to up to 50 percent.
  • Creating a set-aside to serve children in localities that having waiting lists for preschool.
  • Allocating funds and establishing a process to serve additional three-year-olds; and
  • Providing $10 M per year for mixed-delivery grants administered by VECF and expanding those grants to serve 3 year-olds.

Additional early childhood system improvements include:

  • An additional $8 M over two years to increase the Early Childhood Educator Incentive created through the Preschool Development Grant Birth to Five grant.
  • Increased support for VPI classroom observations and professional development.
  • Transfer the responsibility of the federal Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) grant from the Department of Social Services to the Department of Education and consolidate state oversight with the Department of Education and the Board of Education. Transfer would be in effect July 2021. Along with the oversight transfer 150 licensing positions to the Department of education.
  • Increase funding for Part C – Early Intervention services by $2.5 M in FY21 and $3.9M in FY22 to serve 4% increase in children identified.

Reduce racial disparities in maternal health and improve healthy births

  • Provide $13 M in state funding and the authority to submit a state plan amendment to create a home visiting service for high risk pregnant women and new mothers funded by Medicaid. Asks the Medicaid agency to create a stakeholder workgroup to shape the proposal.
  • Additional funding to extend FAMIS MOMS coverage for low-income pregnant women to 12 months postpartum.
  • Adds language to study a Medicaid benefit for doula care.
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