Policy Strategies & Innovations Link copied!

Innovation Name Innovation Type Innovation Subtype Features at a Glance Strategy Summary
Retaining Our Outstanding Teachers Awards Workforce Bonuses and Supplemental Pay

Bonuses of $3,000 per educator

In 2022, the State of Alaska Child Care Program Office (CCPO) offered $3,000 payments to eligible early childhood teachers. To be eligible, educators were required to have a current/active membership in the Alaska SEED Registry; be employed in a licensed program; and be at any Career Ladder level (1-12). These awards represented an increase from the $500 per-person awards available in 2021. All SEED ROOTS awards were available on a first-come, first-served basis through an online application process. This program was funded by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act.

Learn More: Alaska SEED ROOTs Award


Thread. (2022). Alaska SEED ROOTs Award.

Department of Health. (2023). Alaska COVID-19 Relief Timeline.

US Department of Health and Human Services. (2022). Examples of State and Local Early Childhood Workforce Strategies.

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Demographics Link copied!

State population

733,583 Source U.S. Census, 2022

Rural %

35.1% Source U.S. Census, 2022

Urban %

64.9% Source U.S. Census, 2022

Number of children age 0-4

48,111 Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

Poverty levels – children 0-8 below 200% poverty

33% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

Median family income among households with children

$94,000.00 Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

Unemployment rate

4.3% Source U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, December 2022

Unemployment rate of parents

7% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

Children under age 6 with all available parents in the labor force

N/A Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

Children living in households with a high housing cost burden

30% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

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Child population by race and ethnicity Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

Race and Ethnicity

  • American Indian and Alaska Native (19%)
  • Asian (5%)
  • Black or African American (3%)
  • Hispanic or Latino (10%)
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (2%)
  • Two or More Races (13%)
  • White, not Hispanic or Latino (47%)
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Political Landscape Link copied!

Source: Ballotpedia 2023

Early Childhood Education Programs Link copied!

Public pre-K program name

Alaska Pre-Elementary Program Source: NIEER, 2023

Universal or targeted pre-K policy

Targeted Pre-K Policy (3- and 4-year-olds) Source: NIEER, 2023

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Percent of 3-Year-Old Children Enrolled in Public Early Childhood Education Programs Source: NIEER 2023


  • 3-year-old children enrolled in state-funded public pre-K (1%)
  • 3-year-old children enrolled in Head Start (19%)
  • Other/none (80%)
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Percent of 4-Year-Old Children Enrolled in Public Early Childhood Education Programs Source: NIEER, 2023


  • 4-year-old children enrolled in state-funded public pre-K (5%)
  • 4-year-old children enrolled in Head Start (21%)
  • Other/none (74%)
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Workforce Link copied!

2017–2019 Median Hourly Wages Source CSCCE 2018, 2020


  • Child care workers
  • Preschool teachers
  • Preschool or child care center directors
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Funding Sources Link copied!

Federal and State Early Childhood Education Funding (in millions) Source First Five Years Fund, 2022

Funding source

  • Head Start and Early Head Start Funding ($58.7)
  • CCDBG & Mandatory Funds ($18.4)
  • CCDBG State Match ($3.3)
  • CCDBG COVID Relief Allocations – CARES, CRRSE, ARPA (CCDF & Stabilization) ($99.0)
  • State-Funded Pre-K ($2.8)
  • MIECHV ($1.7)
  • IDEA Part C ($3.6)
  • IDEA Part B, Sec 619 ($2.0)
  • TANF Early Learning and Care Expenditures ($14.0)
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Funding acronyms: CCDBG: Child Care and Development Block Grant; CARES Act: Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act; CRRSE Act: Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations; ARPA: American Rescue Plan Act; CCDF: Child Care and Development Fund; MIECHV: Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program; IDEA: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; TANF: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

The COVID Funding Cliff

All federal COVID relief allocations, including funding authorized by the CARES, CRRSE, and ARPA bills, must be fully spent by September 2024. An analysis from the Century Foundation shows this loss of funds could cause more than 3 million children to lose access to child care nationwide – including nearly 8,000 children in Alaska.