In Tight Budget, Child Care Gets Increase
Jun 13, 2012
On June 12, the Senate Labor, Health, and Human Services Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations released its FY 2013 appropriations bill, proposing a $160 million increase in funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), including $90 million targeted for training and professional development for the child care workforce. The remaining $70 million would provide subsidies for additional children and increase payment rates for providers. This is a much needed increase for CCDBG, which - without additional funding - will serve the fewest number of children in 15 years during FY 2013.
The bill also includes:
- a $70 million increase for Head Start to support implementation of Head Start recompetition and cost of living increases for grantees
- a $20 million increase for IDEA part C to support early intervention services for infants and toddlers and their families
- a $20 million increase for Promise Neighborhoods
- a $100 million increase for Title I grants to local educational agencies, and
- $600 million for Race to the Top, with a significant portion dedicated to supporting the Early Learning Challenge.
In a tight budget, the Senate Subcommittee members showed their understanding of the importance of supporting children and families during the earliest years. While this is just the first step in the appropriations process, it is welcome news. The full Senate appropriations committee will need to move this bill forward. In the coming weeks, the corresponding subcommittee in the House of Representatives will put forward its version of the spending bill. While we're a long ways from a final FY 2013 budget, it's clear that at least some members of Congress understand that investments in child care and early education are important for our children and families now and critical for the country's future.