Children and Families

Governors and state leaders play a critical role in the protection and support of vulnerable children, families, and individuals. The Children and Families team provides timely and individualized state-focused technical assistance to governors, their human services policy advisors, and state agency leadership, so they can improve policies and systems that will allow children, families, and communities to reach their full potential. With an emphasis on helping states develop equitable opportunities and support for all communities, the Children and Families team aids and enables governors to advance and fulfill their vision for the children and families. Issue areas include child welfare, economic mobility, housing, juvenile justice, child care, and poverty alleviation.

Our Focus Areas

  • Whole-family Approaches to Serving Children and Families
  • Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Human Services Data and Delivery Systems
  • Housing and Homelessness
  • Food Insecurity and Hunger
  • Family Economic Security
  • Anti-Poverty Solutions
  • Foster Care, Kinship Care, and Adoption
  • Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment
  • Empowering Families and Communities
  • Reducing Barriers to Opportunity and Equity

Meet The Team

  • Jordan Hynes
    Program Director
  • Jess Kirchner
    Policy Analyst
  • Ekaan Ahmad
    Policy Coordinator

Children and Families Library

Child Nutrition

2.1 Preamble Governors recognize the importance of ensuring that children have access to meals of high nutritional value. Yet, far too many of America’s children don’t have reliable access to ...

Early Childhood Education

4.1 Preamble Early childhood education is critical for early workforce development and strong state economies. For governors, early childhood education and child care has been more than just a smart strategy ...

Temporary Assistance to Needy Families

1.1 Preamble In 1996, governors and the federal government agreed to end individual entitlement to cash assistance, replacing it with federal funding for state block grants for Temporary Assistance for ...


2.1 Preamble Governors across the country face significant challenges in their efforts to ensure the sustainability of health care programs amidst rising health care costs. To put these programs on ...

Early Education Takes Center Stage At Governors’ Opening Session

WASHINGTON—At the opening session of the National Governors Association (NGA) Winter Meeting, governors discussed early childhood education and its importance in building a strong foundation for economic success in the ...

Cross State Convening: Leveraging Workforce Investment Strategies to Improve the Early Care and Education Workforce

January 25-27, 2017 | National Harbor, MD The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) hosted the Cross-State Convening for the Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE) Workforce Project to ...

Protected: The Untapped Potential of an Early Childhood Assessment System

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States Focus on Improving Child Welfare

The National Governors Association (NGA) today announced that eight states—Alabama, Kentucky, Maryland, Oregon, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin—will participate in a 18-month technical assistance effort focused on improving safety and preventing ...

New Opportunity: Early Care and Education Workforce Investment

The National Governors Association (NGA) today announced that seven states, Alabama, Iowa, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Utah and Washington, will receive grants and support to help develop a policy agenda to strengthen the quality of their early ...

Governors Weigh In on Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization

WASHINGTON—The National Governors Association today released the following statement on Congress’ reauthorization of the federal child nutrition programs: “Governors have prioritized addressing child hunger through federal child nutrition programs. The ...

Governors Praise Senate Child Nutrition Deal

WASHINGTON—The National Governors Association releases the following statement in advance of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry’s markup of a bipartisan bill to reauthorize federal school nutrition programs: ...

Early Childhood Education

The Honorable Thad Cochran Chair Committee on Appropriations U.S. Senate Washington, DC 20510 The Honorable Barbara Mikulski Ranking Member Committee on Appropriations U.S. Senate Washington, DC 20510 The Honorable Hal ...