This act would expand eligibility to the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) by establishing a pilot program which would provide low-income families with high quality early learning opportunities modeled after early head start programs for their children from birth to 3 years of age.
This pilot program would be state-funded and eligible for children under 36 months old, with a commencement date of July 1st, 2019 and ending on June 30th, 2022.
SB 5437 requires the Department to:
- Consider early head start rules and regulations when developing provider, family eligibility, and program requirements;
- Offer home visiting services that the child or family are eligible for under the home visiting service’s statutory eligibility requirements, and must include at least 3 home visits per year if eligible;
- Ensure the pilot program meets minimum licensing standards, be enrolled in Early Achievers, and have an Early Achievers rating of at least 4 while providing a minimum of 1,380 annual hours of classroom operations; and
- Select up to 10 pilot project locations during the first year of the project.
Furthermore, eligibility requirements would include:
- For the child to be under 36 months old; and
- For the child’s family income to range from 110%-200% of the federal poverty level.
SB 5437 also requires for the Department to conduct evaluations of quality and performance measures, starting with an annual report beginning on November 1st, 2019, and with a final report being submitted by November 1st, 2023.
*Companion to HB 1351*