Anticipating potential growth of state pre-k programs, state policymakers should consider a number of approaches to protect and expand the existing infant-toddler child care infrastructure. Beyond limiting harm to infant-toddler programs, state leaders could take the opportunity to invest in a birth-5 system that equitably supports high-quality services for infants and toddlers and preschool-age children.
In West Virginia, public school districts receive West Virginia Universal Pre-K funding directly, but partner with a local community collaborative that includes representatives from local child care, Head Start, and early childhood special education to determine a local service delivery plan. School districts contract with local ECE providers to provide services and communities often braid and blend pre-k funds with other ECE funding sources to support full day comprehensive programming. State law requires that 50 percent of classrooms be offered in community-collaborative settings. The collaboration rate has been 82 percent in recent years.
To read more about state strategies to strengthen infant-toddler care, while expanding pre-K read here.06