2011 Budget Coming to a Close, Gearing Up for 2012

Apr 13, 2011

By Hannah Matthews

Over the weekend, the President and members of Congress came to an agreement on a final budget for FY 2011, which began October 1, 2010. In a very difficult funding time, child care and early education programs managed to see some gains. The final deal, which is expected to pass both the House and Senate this week, includes the following:

  • a $100 million increase for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) to maintain a share of children served with ARRA funds, including an increase in funds to improve the quality of infant/toddler care (from $99 to $104 million) and for quality expansion activities (from $271 million to $284 million). This is in addition to states' annual requirement to spend a minimum of 4 percent of CCDBG funds on quality activities.
  • A $340 million increase for Head Start and Early Head Start to maintain enrollment of children served with ARRA funds into next school year.
  • $700 million for Race to the Top, including language to use a portion of this funding for grants to states to improve birth to five early care and education. The initiative includes language similar to previous proposals for the Early Learning Challenge Fund and would be jointly administered by the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services. More information on this initiative will be forthcoming.

While these increases were great successes, the final deal unfortunately included other provisions that will hurt children and families. A small 0.2 percent across-the-board cut will also be applied to all non-defense discretionary programs (including CCDBG and Head Start).

Most importantly, the battle over 2012 funding has already begun. The House is expected to also vote this week on Budget Committee Chairman Ryan's budget proposal that would slash spending and institute procedural mechanisms that would have devastating impacts on poor children and families for many years to come. The gains that early childhood programs saw in 2011 will mean nothing if Ryan's proposals move forward in 2012. CLASP will continue to work with our coalition partners to protect the interests of low-income people and the government programs that strengthen families and create pathways to education and work.

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