Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

State Choices to Promote Access

  • 12 states sets the income eligibility limit for child care subsidies at or above 200% FPL [2017]1
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  • 1 state [2014]2
  • 45 states provides families with at least 12 months of continuous eligibility for child care subsidies [FY 2016]3
  • 23 states supplements Early Head Start [2012]4
  • 45 states funds a pre-kindergarten program and/or supplements Head Start [FY 2016]5
  • 13 states requires districts to offer full day kindergarten [2016]6

State Choices to Promote Quality

  • 7 states requires one adult for every four 18-month-olds, and a maximum class size of eight in child care centers [2013]7
  • 26 states allocates state or federal funds for a network of infant/toddler specialists that provide assistance to child care providers [2013]8
  • 47 states has early learning standards or developmental guidelines for infants and toddlers [2017]9
  • 32 states has an infant/toddler credential or certificate [2018]10
  • 23 states requires that infants and toddlers in child care centers be assigned a consistent primary caregiver [2014]11
  • 15 states requires one adult for every ten 4-year-olds, and a maximum class size of 20 in child care centers [2013]7
  • 40 states has implemented a statewide Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS) [2017]12
  • 8 states requires one teacher for every 18 students in kindergarten classrooms [2013]13
  • 44 states has adopted Common Core Standards [2015]14
  • 4 states has comprehensive, free-standing standards for social emotional learning at the K-12 level [2017]15

Data Notes and Sources

Last Updated: May 13, 2015

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  1. Schulman, K., & Blank, H. (2017). Persistent Gaps: State Child Care Assistance Policies 2017. National Women's Law Center. (accessed November 2, 2017). Parents at 150% FPL ineligible for monthly child care copayments in Maryland.
  2. Schulman, Karen; Blank, Helen. 2014. Turning the Corner: State Child Care Assistance Policies 2014. National Women's Law Center. (accessed March 3, 2015).
  3. Minton, S., Blatt, L., Tran, V., Stevens, K., & Giannarelli, L. (2017). The CCDF Policies Database Book of Tables: Key Cross-State Variations in CCDF Policies as of October 1, 2016. OPRE Report 2017-105. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Https:// (accessed February 22, 2018).
  4. Colvard, Jamie; Schmit, Stephanie, Zero to Three and CLASP. (2012). Expanding Access to Early Head Start: State Initiatives for Infants and Toddlers at Risk. (accessed August 15, 2013).
  5. Barnett, W. S., Friedman-Krauss, A. H., Weisenfeld, G. G., Horowitz, M., Kasmin, R., & Squires, J. H. (2017). The State of Preschool 2016: State Preschool Yearbook. New Brunswick, NJ: National Institute for Early Education Research. (accessed December 19, 2017).
  6. Parker, E., Diffey, L., & Atchison, B. (2016). Full-day kindergarten: A look across the states. Denver, CO: Education Commission of the States. (accessed June 23, 2017).
  7. National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies. (2013). We Can Do Better: Child Care Aware of America's Ranking of State Child Care Center Regulations and Oversight. (accessed August 14, 2013).
  8. Schmit, S., Matthews, H., CLASP. (2013). Better for Babies: A Study of State Infant and Toddler Child Care Policies. (accessed April 2, 2014).
  9. Administration for Children & Families, National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance. (2017). State Early Learning and Developmental Guidelines. (accessed December 19, 2017).
  10. Administration for Children & Families, National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning. (2018). State/Territory Infant/Toddler Credential Overview, February 2018. Obtained data from staff at ZERO TO THREE.
  11. National Center on Child Care Quality Improvement & National Association for Regulatory Administration. (2015). Trends in child care center licensing regulations and policies for 2014. (Research Brief #1 ) (No. 314). Fairfax, VA: National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance. Https:// (accessed June 23, 2017).
  12. QRIS National Learning Network. (2017). Current Status of QRIS in the States map. (accessed February 7, 2017).
  13. Education Commission of the States. (2013). Early Learning: Kindergarten Online Database. (accessed April 7, 2014).
  14. Achieve. (2015). Closing the Expectations Gap: 2013 Annual Report on the Alignment of State K-12 Policies and Practice with the Demands of College and Careers. (accessed March 24, 2015).
  15. The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). (2017). K-12 Learning Goals for SEL in all 50 States. (accessed June 23, 2017).