The President's Budget: Historic for Early Childhood

Apr 11, 2013

By Stephanie Schmit

Yesterday, the President released his Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Budget. For young children and the child care and early education community that supports them, the budget comes as a much anticipated follow-up to the President's State of the Union address where he outlined early learning as a priority. This budget includes historic investments across several early childhood programs.

The President's budget includes increased investment in a comprehensive birth-to-five early education continuum including child care, home visiting, Head Start, Early Head Start, and preschool-all critical programs for children, especially the most vulnerable children.

Through companion investments in the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services, the President's proposal introduces new details to what the White House is calling its Preschool for All initiative. These investments include:

  • Preschool -$75 billion in mandatory funding across 10 years to support state preschool programs. $1.3 billion of the $75 billion would be allocated in FY 2014. Additionally, $750 million in discretionary funding would be available in FY 2014 as development grants to states to create or strengthen their early education systems in preparation for the Preschool for All initiative.
  • Home Visiting- $15 billion over 10 years to expand home visiting programs. Home visiting programs provide family support and connect children and their parents to resources during a critical development period for young children.
  • Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships- $1.4 billion to support Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships. These will provide increased access to comprehensive, high quality child care for infants and toddlers.

The expanded preschool access and home visiting components of the proposal would be paid for through increased tobacco taxes, also included in the President's budget.

The proposed budget includes additional investments in important child care and early education programs, beyond the Preschool for All Initiative:

  • Head Start-The President's Budget provides $200 million for Head Start cost of living (COLA) increases and transition grants for the designation renewal system.
  • Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) - The President's budget provides an increase of $500 million dollars in mandatory funding for CCDBG which will serve an estimated 1.4 million children in 2014, and $200 million to fund child care quality initiatives, including supporting state Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS).

The budget also provides increases for the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) Part C ($20 million) and Promise Neighborhoods ($300 million).

CLASP, together with our partners in the Strong Start for Children campaign, a new coalition of national early education organizations, are working diligently to push the early learning proposal forward. To learn more about the President's plan, join us for a telephone call at 4:00 p.m. EST on April 17.

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