New Early Learning Fact Sheets – Program Licensing, Program Quality, and Early Childhood Educator Compensation
Each day, thousands of children in Rhode Island attend child care, early learning, and afterschool programs. Rhode Island KIDS COUNT has released three new Fact Sheets with data on programs in Rhode Island and information about best practices in the following areas:

Program Licensing Fact Sheet provides data on the number and capacity of licensed child care and early learning programs in Rhode Island and information on new federal requirements to ensure that all programs receive at least one unannounced inspection per year and that inspection reports are posted on a public website. 
Program Quality Fact Sheet highlights data showing the progress child care and early learning programs have made over the past five years to achieve research-based quality standards as measured by BrightStars, the state’s Quality Rating and Improvement System. It also provides information on the number of children enrolled in high-quality programs by funding stream (Child Care Assistance Program, Early Head Start/Head Start, and State Pre-K) and an analysis of funding streams which shows a significant gap in resources for programs that serve children in the Child Care Assistance Program and the private market when compared with programs that have access to more robust funding (Early Head Start/Head Start, State Pre-K, and K-12).
Early Childhood Educator Compensation Fact Sheet provides data on average annual salaries for educators in Rhode Island, highlighting the extremely low wages of most teachers of young children. The Fact Sheet highlights strategies Rhode Island and other states are using to address compensation gaps so programs can attract, develop, and retain effective educators for children birth through age five.  
Funding Our Future
Despite research that shows high-quality early learning programs help families work and promote children’s healthy development and learning, across the U.S., public funding is not sufficient to ensure all families can access these programs or to ensure early learning programs have the resources they need to meet research-based quality standards.  Funding Our Future: Generating State and Local Tax Revenue for Quality Early Care and Education is a new report that provides recommendations to help advocates identify and secure new revenue to build an equitable system of high-quality, affordable early care and education for families with children from birth to age five.
New Federal Funding Opportunity for State Birth to Age 5 Early Care and Education Systems
On September 20, the federal Administration for Children and Families announced a new competitive grant opportunity for states to improve access to high-quality early care and education services for children ages birth through five . Rhode Island is eligible to apply for a three-year grant of up to $10 million/year to strengthen the coordination and delivery of early care and education services, improve program quality, maximize family and parental choice, and enhance school readiness for children from low-income and disadvantaged families. Applications are due on November 5, 2019 and 23 states are expected to receive funding.  A recent national report catalogs state activities under the earlier planning grants (which Rhode Island received) and makes recommendations to states that are applying for the next round of funding.