Georgia

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Strategy Name Strategy Type(s) Year Funding Amount Funding Source Features at a Glance
Pre-K Base Salary Increase
Georgia's FY2023 and FY2024 budget bills both included an increase in the base salary of state pre-K assistant and lead teachers. These increases were particularly notable for their inclusion of assistant teachers, who have not typically benefitted from pay increases in the past. Prior to the passage of the FY23 legislation, assistant teachers made $16,190 annually (regardless of experience or education). These pay increases were primarily paid for using Georgia State Lottery funds. Learn More: Georgia FY2023 Budget Sources: Georgia House Budget and Research Office. (2023). FY2024 Budget Tracker. Georgia Budget and Policy Institute. (2022). Overview: 2023 Fiscal Year Budget for the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning.
  • Workforce
    • Pay Increases
    2023
    State Dedicated Funding Stream
    Salary increase of $2,000 per year for lead and assistant teachers (FY23 and FY24)
    Georgia's FY2023 and FY2024 budget bills both included an increase in the base salary of state pre-K assistant and lead teachers. These increases were particularly notable for their inclusion of assistant teachers, who have not typically benefitted from pay increases in the past. Prior to the passage of the FY23 legislation, assistant teachers made $16,190 annually (regardless of experience or education). These pay increases were primarily paid for using Georgia State Lottery funds. Learn More: Georgia FY2023 Budget Sources: Georgia House Budget and Research Office. (2023). FY2024 Budget Tracker. Georgia Budget and Policy Institute. (2022). Overview: 2023 Fiscal Year Budget for the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning.
    Pre-K Pay Parity
    Georgia's pay parity policy, first enacted during the 2015–16 school year, was introduced primarily in response to a high rate of turnover among pre-K educators, who frequently left for better-paying K-3 positions in the public schools. All settings participating in Georgia's pre-K Program, including community-based and public-school settings, are require to pay a base salary that is equivalent to the salary paid to public-school K-3 educators with a similar level of education and experience. All pre-K educators are compensated for an 8-hour work day, which includes 6.5 hours for instruction and 1.5 hours for planning. Pre-K teachers are also paid for an additional 10 days of planning and professional development time. Georgia's pre-K Program, including salaries for pre-K educators, is funded through the Georgia Lottery. Learn More: Strategies in Pursuit of Pre-K Teacher Compensation Parity Sources: Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, University of California, Berkeley & The National Institute for Early Education Research. (2017). Strategies in Pursuit of Pre-K Teacher Compensation Parity: Lessons from Seven States and Cities | Georgia's Pre-K.
    • Workforce
      • Pay Scales and Parity
      2015
      State Dedicated Funding Stream
      K-3 pay parity for community-based and public-school pre-K teachers
      Georgia's pay parity policy, first enacted during the 2015–16 school year, was introduced primarily in response to a high rate of turnover among pre-K educators, who frequently left for better-paying K-3 positions in the public schools. All settings participating in Georgia's pre-K Program, including community-based and public-school settings, are require to pay a base salary that is equivalent to the salary paid to public-school K-3 educators with a similar level of education and experience. All pre-K educators are compensated for an 8-hour work day, which includes 6.5 hours for instruction and 1.5 hours for planning. Pre-K teachers are also paid for an additional 10 days of planning and professional development time. Georgia's pre-K Program, including salaries for pre-K educators, is funded through the Georgia Lottery. Learn More: Strategies in Pursuit of Pre-K Teacher Compensation Parity Sources: Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, University of California, Berkeley & The National Institute for Early Education Research. (2017). Strategies in Pursuit of Pre-K Teacher Compensation Parity: Lessons from Seven States and Cities | Georgia's Pre-K.
      Georgia's Cross Agency Child Data System (CACDS)
      Launched in 2012, the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning’s Cross Agency Child Data System (CACDS) is an early childhood integrated data system that functions as a warehouse. The system stores longitudinal, demographic, program, workforce, and individual data on early childhood educational enrollment and services across multiple Georgia programs (e.g., Babies Can’t Wait, Preschool Special Education, Georgia’s Pre-K Program, Early Head Start, Head Start, subsidized child care, and home visiting) and agencies (e.g., Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, Department of Education, Department of Public Health, Division of Family and Children Services, and Georgia Head Start Association). The private individual-level data is matched and deidentified using an internal matching system. CACDS provides data for internal use across participating agencies to guide research, policy, and development. CACDS also offers a “Community Data Explorer” to provide aggregate level program and demographic data for public use. In 2010, the State Advisory Council provided a grant to build the system. It was expanded in 2014 using funds from the 2013 federal Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) grant. In 2017, CACDS won a grant (funded by the Kellogg Foundation) from ECDataWorks at the University of Pennsylvania. CACDS is also supported through a Georgia 2020 PDG B-5 three year renewal grant. CACDS provides information to the Georgia P-20 Statewide Longitudinal Data System and Georgia's Academic and Workforce Analysis and Research Data System (GA-AWARDS). Learn More: Georgia's CACDS Sources:Georgia (CACDS) – Actionable Intelligence for Social PolicySRI Education (2021). Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5) State ProfilesLiBetti, A. & Fu, R. (2022). A State Scan of Early Learning Assessments and Data Systems. New America. Georgia Preschool Development Grant Birth Through Five (PDG B-5)
      • Infrastructure to Support Early Childhood Systems
        • Data Systems
        2012
        • Philanthropic Funds
        • Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five
        • Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant; State Advisory Council
        Early childhood integrated data system that collects, integrates, maintains, stores, and reports information from early childhood programs across multiple agencies
        Launched in 2012, the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning’s Cross Agency Child Data System (CACDS) is an early childhood integrated data system that functions as a warehouse. The system stores longitudinal, demographic, program, workforce, and individual data on early childhood educational enrollment and services across multiple Georgia programs (e.g., Babies Can’t Wait, Preschool Special Education, Georgia’s Pre-K Program, Early Head Start, Head Start, subsidized child care, and home visiting) and agencies (e.g., Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, Department of Education, Department of Public Health, Division of Family and Children Services, and Georgia Head Start Association). The private individual-level data is matched and deidentified using an internal matching system. CACDS provides data for internal use across participating agencies to guide research, policy, and development. CACDS also offers a “Community Data Explorer” to provide aggregate level program and demographic data for public use. In 2010, the State Advisory Council provided a grant to build the system. It was expanded in 2014 using funds from the 2013 federal Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) grant. In 2017, CACDS won a grant (funded by the Kellogg Foundation) from ECDataWorks at the University of Pennsylvania. CACDS is also supported through a Georgia 2020 PDG B-5 three year renewal grant. CACDS provides information to the Georgia P-20 Statewide Longitudinal Data System and Georgia's Academic and Workforce Analysis and Research Data System (GA-AWARDS). Learn More: Georgia's CACDS Sources:Georgia (CACDS) – Actionable Intelligence for Social PolicySRI Education (2021). Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5) State ProfilesLiBetti, A. & Fu, R. (2022). A State Scan of Early Learning Assessments and Data Systems. New America. Georgia Preschool Development Grant Birth Through Five (PDG B-5)
        Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning
        In 2004, Governor Sonny Perdue and the Georgia Assembly created . Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) by merging the office of school readiness units in the department of human resources, the department of education and the Georgia Child Care Council. DECAL administers the state’s pre-K program, licensed child care, federal nutrition programs, and the community-powered child care rating system. It also houses the state’s Head Start collaboration office. The department reports to a board, which consists of representation from each congressional district. At the same time, the Georgia State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care merged with the Georgia Children’s Cabinet to help guide policies and leadership on early childhood initiatives by having several agencies and entities collaborate on coordinated goals. The creation of a new department will not automatically create better outcomes for children, but it can help provide the structure and coordination needed to improve early education quality and accessibility across a state or city (Kagan & Gomez, 2015). Learn more: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning Source: Education Commission of the States (2021). Early Care and Education Governance.Kagan, L. and Gomez, R. (Eds.). (2015) Early Childhood Governance: Choices and Consequences. Teachers College Press.
        • Infrastructure to Support Early Childhood Systems
          • Administrative + Governance Models
          2004 $1.5 billion annually
          • State Dedicated Funding Stream
          • Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five
          • Head Start and Early Head Start Funding
          • CCDBG, Sandra Dunagan Deal Center for Language and Literacy of Georgia College and State University Grant (SDD Center), USDA Farm to School Grant, State Funding for Nutrition Services
          Created a new department of early childhood
          In 2004, Governor Sonny Perdue and the Georgia Assembly created . Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) by merging the office of school readiness units in the department of human resources, the department of education and the Georgia Child Care Council. DECAL administers the state’s pre-K program, licensed child care, federal nutrition programs, and the community-powered child care rating system. It also houses the state’s Head Start collaboration office. The department reports to a board, which consists of representation from each congressional district. At the same time, the Georgia State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care merged with the Georgia Children’s Cabinet to help guide policies and leadership on early childhood initiatives by having several agencies and entities collaborate on coordinated goals. The creation of a new department will not automatically create better outcomes for children, but it can help provide the structure and coordination needed to improve early education quality and accessibility across a state or city (Kagan & Gomez, 2015). Learn more: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning Source: Education Commission of the States (2021). Early Care and Education Governance.Kagan, L. and Gomez, R. (Eds.). (2015) Early Childhood Governance: Choices and Consequences. Teachers College Press.
          Georgia Lottery for Education
          In 1992, Governor Zell Miller proposed the creation of the Georgia Lottery for Education, committing to use all lottery funds to supplement existing educational programs. The Pre-K Program began as a pilot serving 750 at-risk 4-year-olds and their families, and expanded to serve all eligible 4-year-olds, using private sector partnerships to avoid capital outlay on new facilities. In 2004, the Department of Early Care and Learning was created, and the Pre-K Program became universal. Today, it serves over 1 million children. In FY 2022, the lottery contributed $379 million to preschool education. Learn More/Source: History of Georgia's Pre-K Program
          • Dedicated Funding Streams & Financing
            • Revenue
              • Lottery Revenue
            1992 $379 million in 2022
            State Dedicated Funding Stream
            In fiscal year 2022, the lottery contributed $379 million to Georgia’s Pre-K Program
            In 1992, Governor Zell Miller proposed the creation of the Georgia Lottery for Education, committing to use all lottery funds to supplement existing educational programs. The Pre-K Program began as a pilot serving 750 at-risk 4-year-olds and their families, and expanded to serve all eligible 4-year-olds, using private sector partnerships to avoid capital outlay on new facilities. In 2004, the Department of Early Care and Learning was created, and the Pre-K Program became universal. Today, it serves over 1 million children. In FY 2022, the lottery contributed $379 million to preschool education. Learn More/Source: History of Georgia's Pre-K Program
            Georgia’s Pre-K Program
            Georgia's state-funded pre-K program for 4-year-old children operates on a first-come, first-served basis. The program enrolls children in classrooms in public schools and community-based private child care centers. Because participation in the program is voluntary for both children and schools, program availability cannot be guaranteed for all 4-year-olds in a given community. In 2011, the state’s Department of Early Care and Learning began a series of studies to measure the impact of the pre-K program across the state. Learn More: Georgia's Pre-K Program Sources:Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning. (n.d.). About Georgie's Pre-K Program.Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning. (n.d.). Evaluation of Georgia's Pre-K Program. National Institute for Early Education Research. (2022). Georgia. Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, University of California, Berkeley & The National Institute for Early Education Research. (2017). Strategies in Pursuit of Pre-K Teacher Compensation Parity: Lessons from Seven States and Cities | Georgia's Pre-K.
            • Expansion
              • Public Pre-K
                • Universal Pre-K Policy (4-Year-Olds)
              1992 $392 million in FY22
              • State Dedicated Funding Stream
              • State-Funded Pre-K
              • Percentage of 4-year-olds enrolled (as of 2022): 55%
              • Percentage of 3-year-olds enrolled (as of 2021): 0%
              • Minimum hours of operation: 6.5 hrs/day; 5 days/wk
              Georgia's state-funded pre-K program for 4-year-old children operates on a first-come, first-served basis. The program enrolls children in classrooms in public schools and community-based private child care centers. Because participation in the program is voluntary for both children and schools, program availability cannot be guaranteed for all 4-year-olds in a given community. In 2011, the state’s Department of Early Care and Learning began a series of studies to measure the impact of the pre-K program across the state. Learn More: Georgia's Pre-K Program Sources:Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning. (n.d.). About Georgie's Pre-K Program.Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning. (n.d.). Evaluation of Georgia's Pre-K Program. National Institute for Early Education Research. (2022). Georgia. Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, University of California, Berkeley & The National Institute for Early Education Research. (2017). Strategies in Pursuit of Pre-K Teacher Compensation Parity: Lessons from Seven States and Cities | Georgia's Pre-K.
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              Demographics Link copied!

              Demographics Data Scorecard

              State population

              10,912,876 Source U.S. Census, 2022

              Rural %

              25.9% Source U.S. Census, 2020

              Urban %

              74.1% Source U.S. Census, 2020

              Number of children 0–4

              633,315 Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

              Poverty levels - children 0—8 below 200% poverty

              43% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

              Median family income among households with children

              $76,400.00 Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

              Unemployment rate

              3% Source U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, December 2022

              Unemployment rate of parents

              3% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

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

              65% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

              Children living in households with a high housing cost burden

              29% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

              Child Population by Race and Ethnicity Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

              Race and Ethnicity

              • American Indian and Alaska Native (0.49%)
              • Asian (4%)
              • Black or African American (3%)
              • Hispanic or Latino (15%)
              • Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander (0.49%)
              • Two or more races (4%)
              • White, not Hispanic or Latino (42%)
              Year 2023 2022 2021 2020 2019
              Governor R R R R R
              State House R R R R R
              State Senate R R R R R

              Early Childhood Education Programs Link copied!

              Early Childhood Education Programs

              Public Pre-K Program Name

              Georgia Pre-K Program Source: NIEER 2023

              Universal or Targeted Pre-K Policy

              Universal Pre-K Policy (4-year-olds) Source: NIEER 2023

              Early Childhood Education Programs (3-Year-Olds) Source: NIEER 2023

              Programs

              • 3-Year-old Children Enrolled in Head Start (9%)
              • Other/None (91%)

              Early Childhood Education Programs (4-Year-Olds) Source: NIEER 2023

              Programs

              • Percent of 4-Year-Old Children Enrolled in Public Early Childhood Education Programs (55%)
              • 4-Year-old Children Enrolled in Head Start (3%)
              • Other/None (42%)

              Workforce Link copied!

              2017–2019 Median Hourly Wages Source CSCCE 2018, 2020

              Role

              • Child Care Workers
                $9.97 (2017, adjusted)
                $9.37 (2019)
              • Preschool Teachers
                $14.04 (2017, adjusted)
                $14.05 (2019)
              • Preschool or Child Care Center Directors
                $19.95 (2017, adjusted)
                $19.53 (2019)

              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 ($243.4)
              • CCDBG & Mandatory Funds ($319.7)
              • CCDBG State Match ($20.5)
              • CCDBG COVID Relief Allocations - CARES, CRRSE, ARPA (CCDF & Stabilization) ($2100)
              • State-Funded Pre-K ($361.5)
              • MIECHV ($6.7)
              • IDEA Part C ($21.9)
              • IDEA Part B, Sec 619 ($15.7)
              • TANF Early Learning and Care ($22.2)
              • Preschool Development Grant Birth ($4.8)