Rhode Island KIDS COUNT is a member of the RIght from the Start Campaign Steering Committee, alongside Beautiful Beginnings, Economic Progress Institute, Latino Policy Institute, Rhode Island Association for Infant Mental Health, the Rhode Island Association for the Education of Young Children, and the Rhode Island Head Start Association.

Dear RIght from the Start supporters:

We are in the closing weeks of the General Assembly session, and the House Finance Committee is expected to take up the FY 21 state budget as early as next week. NOW is the time to contact your legislators to urge them to support legislation and budget investments that will help Rhode Island’s young children and families emerge even stronger from the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What can you do? Use our electronic advocacy center today to email your legislators. It just takes one click!

Click here to tell legislators to support the Child Care Is Essential Act to (1. Provide sustainable rates to child care providers so they can stay open and grow to serve more Rhode Island children and families; (2. Reduce family co-pays to make child care more affordable; and (3. Expand eligibility so more working families can access quality, affordable child care.

Please take a moment to contact your legislators today!

RIght from the Start
RIght Start Legislative Agenda Update
Child Care is Essential Act / State Budget for Child Care 
We need statutory changes to rates, copayments, and eligibility for the state’s Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) so programs can continue to operate, and more families can have access to affordable, high-quality child care which is needed to get people back to work. Rates have been increased under Executive Orders that will expire, and providers cannot survive a rate cut. We need at least $91 million for the Child Care Assistance Program in the FY 22 state budget to stabilize our child care sector and help Rhode Island families as they return to work.
Early Educator Investment Act
This legislation has passed the Senate and now we need it to pass in the House as well. It would require the state to set goals and develop plans to raise wages for early educators in child care, Early Intervention, and family home visiting. This bill has no budget implications.
Perinatal Doula Act
This legislation has passed the Senate and now we need it to pass in the House as well. It would require Medicaid and private insurance coverage for perinatal doula services.
Paid Family Leave / Temporary Caregivers Insurance
A bill has passed the Senate that would extend paid leave to 8 weeks. We are urging the House to strongly consider improving wage replacement rates so low-wage workers can afford to take leave when they have a baby AND to extend paid leave to 12 weeks.
Medicaid Postpartum Bill 
This legislation has passed the Senate and now we need it to pass the House as well. Consistent, stable access to health insurance for new moms will help improve maternal and infant health!
Revenue for Rhode Island
We continue to hear that “there isn’t enough money to adequately fund programs and meet the needs of children and families.” Passing the Revenue for Rhode Island Bill is a good way to raise needed funding. Click here to contact your legislators in support of Revenue for Rhode Island.