President Releases Additional Budget Details
May 08, 2009
Yesterday, the Obama Administration released additional details on their FY 2010 budget proposal. The 2010 budget reflects both the President's interest in expanding high quality early childhood settings and a recognition that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), passed in February, made significant investments in Head Start, Early Head Start, and CCDBG, which will be spent through FY 2010.
As states and local communities continue to feel the impact of the economic downturn, more families are in need of help to find and afford high quality child care. Increases in federal funding this year and into the future will be critical to help these families and to support state efforts to expand access to high quality early childhood settings for children from birth to five and for school-age children.
The budget document is a first step in the FY 2010 appropriations process; Congress now has an opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to early education through increased funding for child care and Head Start. Additionally, new programs proposed by the President must be authorized by Congress.
The budget proposal for FY 2010 includes:
- flat funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), although the FY 2009 appropriation is $7 billion with $2 billion in ARRA funds.
- a $122 million increase for Head Start, adding to the FY 2009 ARRA investment of $2.1 billion in new funds.
- new $500 million matching Title I Early Childhood Grants for local educational agencies that choose to invest ARRA Title I funds in preschool programs.
- a new $300 million Early Learning Challenge Fund. According to budget documents, the fund would:
"States receiving an Early Learning Challenge Fund award would be required to develop and establish a system of research-based metrics and measures for addressing essential aspects of program quality, such as child health and safety, the effectiveness of the early learning environment, the qualifications of early education staff, research- based curricula, and program effectiveness, including child outcomes. Through the implementation of their grants, States would establish a pathway to high quality, beginning with a basic level of standards for licensing, and support the enhancement of programs as they progress to higher levels of quality over time.
"This request would be the first of several years of investment. The Administration will propose authorizing language for this program and, assuming that States demonstrate promising results in ensuring the quality of their early childhood programs, will request additional funds in future years so that States can extend quality early childhood education to more children."
- elimination of the Even Start Family Literacy program.
- flat funding for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers after-school program.
- a new evidence-based home visitation program for low-income parents with newborns. The budget proposes mandatory funding of $8.5 billion over 10 years.
- a new $10 million Promise Neighborhoods initiative to support competitive planning grants to nonprofit community organizations for comprehensive neighborhood programs to support children from preschool through college.