Report Title:

Preschools Open Doors Program; Appropriation

 

Description:

Appropriates $1 for the Preschools Open Doors Program. (SB2139 HD1)

THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

2139

TWENTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2002

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

H.D. 1


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

making an appropriation for the Preschools open doors program.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. The legislature recognizes that recent neuroscience research has proven that the early years of a child are the most crucial in a child’s cognitive, emotional, social, and physical development and affirmed that there are tremendous opportunities for preventative work with children and families as well as the predictable, costly consequences of not taking advantage of these opportunities.

The legislature further finds that quality early learning supports all aspects of early development activities provided by parents and care givers in a variety of settings, including child care centers, family child care, and in the homes of families and friends. Qualify early learning is crucial to ensuring that every young child has a good beginning and will not lose the potential with which the child was born.

In 1998, the legislature adopted House Concurrent Resolution No. 38, which endorsed six desired child outcomes as state policy. The third outcome is that every child will be prepared for and succeed in school by having developmentally nurturing care and early education opportunities, meeting age appropriate knowledge and competencies, and graduating from high school.

The legislature finds that as public and private agencies address this outcome, many facets of the early childhood system are affected.

The legislature also finds that one way to improve Hawaii’s performance in the third outcome is to increase the ability of parents to place their children in quality care. However, many parents need financial assistance to pay for the full cost of quality early childhood education and care. More specifically, eligibility for child care assistance is a potentially important avenue for low-income families to gain access to center-based programs. Recent findings indicate that participation in a formal care setting fosters cognitive development (NICHD Early Child Care Research Network 2000). Programs that are not dependent on parental employment status are another important route through which three- and five-year- old low-income children can be exposed to structured group settings that enhance their preparation for formal schooling.

The purpose of this Act is to increase the number of child care subsidies available through the Preschools Open Doors Program.

SECTION 2. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $1 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2002-2003 to increase the number of child care subsidies given through the Preschools Open Doors Program, pay administrative expenses, and provide parent workshops to recipients of child care subsidies in each county.

The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of human services for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 3. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2002.