Enact strong state and federal revenue policies to maintain, expand and improve essential programs that are a lifeline for children and families. We support the Revenue for Rhode Island proposal and other equitable strategies to increase state and federal resources that will help families with young children.
Ensure child care can reopen and operate while meeting new, more rigorous health and safety standards. Increase the rates for the Child Care Assistance Program to extend the temporary pandemic rates throughout FY21 to meet the required federal equal access standard that was needed pre-COVID. Additional supports will be needed to help programs and staff meet health and safety standards and to care for significantly stressed babies, young children, and families, while also caring for themselves. Safe, healthy, and high-quality child care options are essential for economic recovery and public health.
Implement strategies to improve the wages of early educators working with children and families during the pandemic and beyond. Most middle-class families cannot afford to pay any more for child care than they currently pay, yet programs will need increased staffing levels and should ensure wages are above $20/hour. Wages can be improved by increasing state rates, providing adequate funding through contracts, and offering wage supplements.
More on Early Educator Workforce Development:
- Strengthen the Rhode Island Early Education Workforce by Increasing Compensation Infographic
- Rhode Island Kids Count Early Childhood Educator Compensation Fact Sheet
- Improving the Compensation and Retention of Effective Infant/Toddler Educators in Rhode Island, Recommendations of the Moving the Needle on Compensation Task Force
- Building a Qualified and Supported Early Care and Education Workforce A Primer for Legislators, National Conference of State Legislatures
- Legislation: Rhode Island Early Educator Investment Act, H-7271 / S-2462 / S-2630
Improve our state’s paid family leave program (Temporary Caregivers Insurance) to match national benchmarks by increasing wage replacement rates and extending the number of weeks.We need to improve Rhode Island’s paid family leave policy so all parents, and especially lower-wage earning parents, can have adequate income to remain at home with newborns, adoptive, and foster children for at least 12 weeks.
More on Paid Family Leave:
- Strengthening Paid Family Leave Will Help Rhode Island Families Fact Sheet – From the National Partnership for Women & Families
- Expanding Access to Paid Family Leave Fact Sheet – From the Economic Progress Institute
- Paid Family Leave In Rhode Island Facts – From the 2019 Rhode Island Kids Count Factbook
- Paid Family Leave Legislation: H-7661 / S-2708
Cover community-based doula services through Medicaid and private health insurance. Invest in building, supporting, and sustaining the doula workforce and infrastructure in the state as a strategy to reduce racial and economic disparities in maternal and child health outcomes.
More on Community-Based Doula Services:
Sustain our network of voluntary, evidence-based family home visiting programs by allocating state funds as a Medicaid match to fund remote and in-person services that help parents during these critical early years.
More on Family Home Visiting Prevention Program:
- Evidence-Based Family Home Visiting Facts – From the 2019 Rhode Island Kids Count Factbook
- Home Visiting: Improving Children’s and Families’ Well-Being, National Conference of State Legislatures
Expand access to the Rhode Island Pre-K and sustain state-funded Head Start programs. These are high-quality programs that help get children on track for school success. The RI Pre-K program serves a diverse group of 1,164 four-year-old children in high-needs communities. RI Pre-K can be delivered through distance learning approaches and is offered by public schools, Head Start agencies, and child care programs. Rhode Island also invests funding to serve 130 children in Head Start.
More on Pre-K Expansion:
- Rhode Island Kids Count Early Learning Factsheet
- Children Enrolled in Head Start or State Pre-K – From the 2019 Rhode Island Kids Count Factbook
- Pre-K Expansion Legislation: H-7171 – Budget Article 10
Pass the affordable housing bond which will expand affordable housing and help early learning programs improve their facilities.
More on Housing/Early Learning Facilities Bond:
- Early Learning Facilities Bond Fact Sheet
- Rhode Island Early Learning Facilities Needs Assessment Report
- Rhode Island Early Childhood Care and Education Capital Fund Act – Budget Article 10 and Budget Article 5
RIght from the Start Campaign Steering Committee
Economic Progress Institute
Latino Policy Institute
Rhode Island Association for Infant Mental Health
Rhode Island Association for the Education of Young Children
Rhode Island KIDS COUNT
Woonsocket Head Start Child Development Association
RIght from the Start Campaign Champions
American Academy of Pediatrics, Rhode Island Chapter
Books Are Wings
The Children’s Workshop
Comprehensive Community Action Program (CCAP)
Crayons Early Care & Education Center
Dr. Day Care
J. Arthur Trudeau Memorial Center
Nowell Leadership Academy
Parents Leading for Educational Equity
Planned Parenthood of Southern New England
Prevent Child Abuse America
Reach Out And Read Rhode Island
Ready to Learn Providence
Rhode Island Coalition for Children and Families
RI NOW (Rhode Island – National Organization for Women)
West Bay Community Action
Women’s Fund of Rhode Island
YMCA of Pawtucket