Expansion of Public Preschool

5 new preschool classrooms in the 2018-2019 School Year.

An Early Learning Academy in the 2017-2018 Academic year that will train and prepare public schools to run a successful preschool program.

60 permanent positions for special education preschool teachers and educational assistants.

$300,000 for the Executive Office on Early Learning to enter into contracts with third party providers for Family-Child Interaction Learning programs (like Tutu & Me).

Help Build the Office of Early Learning

Expansion of the functions of the Early Learning Advisory Board, including appointing the director of Executive Office on Early Learning (EOEL), creating a structure of accountability and governance for EOEL.

EOEL will expand with 5 positions:  2 new permanent positions and 3 temporary positions converted to permanent to help grow statewide early learning efforts.

Economic Security for Families

A state-wide earned income tax credit for low-income families.

Feeding Our Keiki

Schools can no longer deny a student a meal for failure to pay while the student’s application for free or reduced lunch is being processed or 7 days after the student’s meal fund account balance is zero or negative.

Protecting Our Keiki

Regulation that will bring the State into compliance with two federal acts to prevent trafficking and child abuse.

Strengthening safe sleep policy for childcare facilities.

Ensuring Our Keiki Are Healthy

A working group to plan for and mitigate adverse effects of the potential repeal of the federal Affordable Care Act.

NATIONAL WINS (funding for the next few months)

The Child Care and Development Grand (CCDBG) received an increase of $95 million, bringing total discretionary funding to $2.865 billion.  This was a bigger increase than what was in either the original House and Senate bills.

Head Start received an increase of $85 million.

$5 million in additional funding for Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships.

Special Education Preschool Grants (Part B of IDEA) funding remained the same.

Preschool Development Grants funding remained the same.

The Grants for Infants and Families program (Part C of the IDEA) received a slight decrease in funding.



Although the 2017 legislative session is over, there is still much work to be done:

  • secure additional funds for public preschool expansion
  • ensure safe and quality childcare for all families
  • expansion and funding for early intervention services
  • Paid Family & Sick Leave
  • improve the quality of state data on the status of Hawaii's children

We work year-round with our partners to ensure the health and safety of Hawaii's children.  

Please consider becoming a monthly donor to ensure the sustainability of these efforts.