THIRTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2023
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO EARLY LEARNING.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $ or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2023-2024 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2024-2025 to be deposited into the preschool open doors special fund.
SECTION 2. There is appropriated out of the preschool open doors special fund the sum of $ or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2023-2024 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2024-2025 for the:
(1) Preschool grant program;
(2) Hiring of three temporary information technology positions without regard to chapter 89, Hawaii Revised Statutes, to support modifications to the preschool open doors program; and
(3) Data governance issues necessitated by Act 46, Session Laws of Hawaii 2020, and Act 210, Session Laws of Hawaii 2021;
provided that funds appropriated pursuant to this section may also be expended on additional permanent staff, benefit expenses related to the new staff, and costs associated with necessary modifications to the preschool open doors program; provided further that funds appropriated pursuant to this section may be expended without regard to chapters 103D and 103F, Hawaii Revised Statutes, as the case may be.
The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of human services for the purposes of this Act.
SECTION 3. Section 346-184, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (b) to read as follows:
"(b) Accreditation under this section shall be obtained from one or more of the following national early learning accrediting organizations:
(1) National Association for the Education of Young Children;
(2) National Early Childhood Program Accreditation;
(3) National Association for Family Child Care; or
(4) An accrediting organization approved by
; provided that the accrediting organization is comparable to
the organizations specified in paragraphs (1) through (3)]."
SECTION 4. Section 302L-7, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsections (b) and (c) to read as follows:
"(b) The office shall implement an application process for schools that are interested in participating in the program. The criteria to prioritize applications shall include:
(1) Community need, including:
(A) The percentage of the population in the school or community that meets the definitions of at-risk and underserved children pursuant to section 302L-1; and
(B) The availability and capacity of existing early learning programs or services for three- and four-year-old children on the school campus and in the surrounding area;
(2) The availability of a classroom and outdoor play area that meet department of human services requirements for health and safety for three- and four-year-old children; and
(3) The commitment of the principal to implementing a high-quality prekindergarten program including through active participation in professional development sessions offered through the office, and to promoting continuity and alignment between and across other early learning programs in the community and other grade levels in the school to ensure the positive outcomes of children are sustained.
The program shall serve [
children in the year prior to the year of
kindergarten eligibility,] three- and four‑year‑old children
who are in the two years prior to kindergarten entry pursuant to section 302A‑411,
with priority extended to underserved or at-risk children, as defined in
section 302L-1, and follow the academic year schedule of the department of
education and be aligned with the full-day kindergarten classroom schedule of
each school. Enrollment priority shall
be given but is not limited to children who attend prekindergarten at schools
to which the children will be assigned upon entering kindergarten under section
SECTION 5. Section 346-181, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
"§346-181 Preschool open doors program. (a) There is established within the department a school readiness program to be known as the preschool open doors program within the department's child care assistance program. The program shall:
(1) Provide access to school readiness services that address children's physical, cognitive, linguistic, social, and emotional development;
(2) Require each provider to conduct school readiness assessments;
(3) Give priority to children from low- and moderate-income families; and
(4) Prepare children for school through either of the State's two official languages.
Subject to the availability of funds, the program shall serve three-
and four-year-old children[
,] who are in the two years prior to
kindergarten entry pursuant to section 302A‑411, with priority
extended in the following order to:
(1) Children who
are not eligible to attend public school kindergarten in the calendar year in
which they turn five years of age because their birth date occurs after the
kindergarten eligibility date pursuant to section 302A-411; [
(2) Underserved or
children,] four-year-old children who were previously served
as a three‑year‑old child, as defined by rules adopted by the
(3) Four-year-old children who were previously served as a three-year-old child;
(4) Four-year-old children;
(5) Underserved or at-risk three-year-old children, as defined by rules adopted by the department; and
(6) Three-year-old children.
(c) Enrollment in the program shall be voluntary. A parent or guardian of a child enrolled in the program shall share in the costs of the program through a copayment according to a sliding fee scale that is based on need pursuant to rules adopted by the department.
(d) The department shall provide reimbursements irrespective of a provider's tuition rate for a child. The department shall adjust reimbursement rates for providers at a minimum of once every two years based on either a true cost of care or cost estimation model.
(d)] (e) The department may adopt interim rules to
carry out the purposes of this section without regard to chapter 91 or 201M;
(1) The department shall hold at least one public hearing prior to the adoption of interim rules;
(2) The interim rules shall comply with all applicable state and federal laws; and
(3) The interim rules shall be effective for no more than one year after their adoption."
SECTION 6. Section 346-182, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:
"(a) There is established within the state treasury the preschool open doors special fund, to be administered by the department's child care assistance program, into which shall be deposited all moneys received by the department's child care assistance program in the form of:
(4) Appropriations made by the legislature to the fund;
(5) Federal funds;
Revenues regardless of their source; and
(6)] (7) Earnings on moneys in the fund.
Moneys in the fund shall be used for the procurement of health and human services under the preschool open doors program. Expenditures from the fund may be made by the department without allotment but shall not be made for capital improvement projects."
SECTION 7. Act 210, Session Laws of Hawaii 2021, is amended by amending section 14 to read as follows:
"SECTION 14. This Act shall take effect upon its approval; provided that:
(1) Section 5 shall be repealed on July 1, 2022, and section 302L-7, Hawaii Revised Statutes, shall be reenacted in the form in which it read on the day prior to the effective date of this Act;
(2) Section 6 shall
be repealed on July 1, 2024, and section 346 ‑181,
Hawaii Revised Statutes, shall be reenacted in the form in which it read on the
day prior to the effective date of this Act;] and
(3)] (2) Section 11 shall take effect on July 1,
SECTION 8. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 9. This Act shall take effect on June 30, 3000.
Preschool Open Doors; Accreditation; Executive Office on Early Learning; Appropriation
Appropriates funds for the preschool open doors program and executive office on early learning to expand access to preschool and to implement program changes required by previous acts. Requires DHS to provide reimbursements to providers participating in the preschool open doors program and adjust the reimbursement rates at least once every two years. Expands the types of entities from which a preschool open doors service provider may obtain accreditation. Expands the preschool open doors program and public prekindergarten program application process to eligible three-year-old children. Authorizes the preschool open doors special fund to accept federal funds. Effective 6/30/3000. (HD2)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.