Putting it Together: A guide to financing comprehensive services in child care and early education

Aug 14, 2012

By Christine Johnson-Staub

CLASP's newly released Putting it Together: A Guide to Financing Comprehensive Services in Child Care and Early Education aims to help states look beyond the major sources of child care and early education funding and consider alternative federal financing sources to bring comprehensive services into early childhood settings. Comprehensive services like preventive health care, developmental screenings, and family support are critical to the success of children - especially those who are most at risk for developmental challenges and delays. Yet the sources of child care funding historically available to states have limited supply and allowable uses, and are insufficient to provide comprehensive services in most child care and early education settings.

It's a challenging time to think about financing early childhood services. States are struggling with budget shortfalls, and deep cuts to federal funding for human services programs appear on the horizon.  And yet, identifying financing strategies to support comprehensive early childhood services has never been more critical. The same economic climate that has led to revenue shortfalls has created a dramatically greater need for services. Families that have lost jobs are struggling with food insecurity, poverty, and challenges in accessing medical care-all of which contribute to developmental challenges for children and stress for their families. Research tells us that improving child outcomes is achievable only through access to high quality-and comprehensive-services. So, while state and community systems need significant resources to support core early childhood programs, and increased federal funding for child care and Head Start are key, early childhood systems should also explore additional funding streams to piece together more comprehensive and coordinated systems.

CLASP's financing guide walks early childhood stakeholders through the steps of building financing partnerships, and provides critical information and resources related to specific federal funding streams that support comprehensive services for children. The guide includes funding examples from state and local communities and technical details on the allowable uses of funding streams to support comprehensive services.

Read Putting it Together now and stay tuned for information on a webinar exploring the financing guide that is coming in September!

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