Indiana Looks At Early Child Education, But Faces Challenges
Despite a push from prominent Indiana lawmakers who to want expand access to childcare and preschool programs, it may be difficult for the General Assembly to pass any such measures in a non-budget writing year, according to Bill Stanczykiewicz, CEO of the Indiana Youth Institute.
Stanczykiewicz says early childhood education will still be one of the hottest topics in the statehouse in 2014 with nearly a quarter of Indiana children living in poverty.Gov. Mike Pence recently laid the groundwork for expanding vouchers to lower-income families for early childhood programs, which studies suggest could help some kids who would otherwise enter kindergarten unprepared and fall behind.But its uncertain how far lawmakers will get during this 2014 session, says Stanczykiewicz. Indiana writes its budget every two years.“In the very least we are going to have robust conversation in the Indiana State House this year. Whether or not anything happens or not remains to be seen because it is not a budget writing year in 2014," he says.Indiana is one of a few states that don’t use state funds to support early childhood programs, but the General Assembly did pass legislation in 2012 to fund all day kindergarten. To see some early childhood education legislation highlights from 2013 click here.(Image via Shutterstock)