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By Shira Small and Stephanie Schmit

4 min read.

Now that the federal fiscal year (FY) 2024 budget is finalized, we’re moving into advocacy for FY2025, which begins on October 1. The first step in the yearly budgeting process is the release of the President’s budget, which is a mechanism for the President to share his priorities and vision for the forthcoming fiscal year. President Biden’s recently released FY2025 budget proposes bold investments in children and families. It prioritizes improved access to child care and recognizes the need for increased funding for families, providers, and the economy. While congressional action is needed to make the president’s proposals a reality, the budget’s investments make President Biden’s recognition of the value of child care clear.  

Given the expiration of the final child care relief investments and the need for resources to implement the new Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) final rule, investments in child care in the FY2025 budget are critically important to ensure that positive progress made at the state level can be maintained and that more children have access to care.  

The president’s budget includes both proposed investments in mandatory spending (longer-term, more sustainable funding) and discretionary spending for FY2025 (year-to-year investments approved through the appropriations process).  

Affordable Child Care for America 

President Biden’s Affordable Child Care for America initiative is the most notable proposed investment in child care and early education. The initiative would invest $600 billion in mandatory child care and universal pre-K over the next 10 years.  

If implemented, the initiative would guarantee affordable care for families earning up to $200,000 a year from birth through kindergarten, capping the daily cost of care at $10 for most families. The budget estimates that this would extend child care access to 16 million children and save families over $600 a month on average per child, helping parents and especially women re-enter the workforce. The increased investment would also go toward raising compensation for child care providers.  

The proposed budget would also fund universal preschool for four-year-olds and help expand preschool enrollment for three-year-olds. Parents would have the option to access preschool using a variety of options such as child care centers, public schools, Head Start, and more. 

FY2025 Discretionary Proposals for Child Care and Early Education Programs 

The following discretionary investments in child care and early education programs are included in the FY2025 budget: 

President Biden’s budget reflects the administration’s effort to invest in the care economy and extend affordable child care to more children and families. These investments can only be realized if Congress makes a strong commitment to creating a sustainable child care system that works for children, families, and providers. It is long past time that the child care sector receives the funding that recognizes its value to families and the economy and meets children’s needs. 

Due to the timing of President Biden’s budget release, funding proposals were compared to FY2023 investments within the budget documents as FY2024 funding bills had not yet been finalized. We maintained those comparisons in this piece to remain consistent with the numbers and increases outlined in the President’s budget documents. On March 23, Congress passed the FY2024 funding bill, which included significant increases in CCDBG and Head Start. The CCDBG investment in FY2024 therefore exceeds the discretionary amounts in President’s FY2025 proposed budget. We hope Congress will recognize the ongoing need for increased funding for these important programs and deliver on the investments advocated for in our FY2025 community letter. 

On March 23, 2024, President Joe Biden signed the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2024 into law. The act’s allocations for fiscal year (FY) 2024 included a significant increase of $725 million in discretionary funds for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG). This was in addition to a smaller increase for Head Start and level funding for other important child care and early education programs such as Parts B and C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

CCDBG is a critical support for families with low incomes who, without access to assistance, would likely be unable to afford their current child care arrangements. However, due to limited federal funding, the program was only able to serve 18 percent of eligible children in 2020.[1] The annual appropriations process is an important opportunity to increase federal investments in programs that respond to increased need and ensure funding keeps up with rising inflation.

The FY2024 CCDBG appropriation of $8.7 billion represented an increase of 9 percent, or $725 million, above the previous year’s funding.[2] This increase is a positive step forward in a difficult funding environment. However, we need much more investment in child care to truly meet the needs of families and providers; to deliver on the new requirements in the 2024 final rule on Improving Child Care Access, Affordability, and Stability in CCDBG; and to support states in maintaining and building on the positive improvements from the pandemic relief funding.

As concerns about economic recovery, unemployment, and inflation persist—and with the federal child care funding through the American Rescue Plan Act set to expire on September 30, 2024—significant and sustained increases in annual discretionary funding remain a critical support. And, given the fragile nature of the child care sector caused in part by decades of insufficient federal funding, the need for long-term and sustainable increases for child care remains ever present.

The following table provides each state’s actual distribution of grant year[3] (GY) 2023 annual discretionary funds;[4] the estimated distribution for GY2024 discretionary funds; and the estimated increase from 2023 to 2024. The increases in 2024 for each state range from $910,000 in Wyoming to $88 million in Texas.

For questions, please contact Stephanie Schmit at

State Distribution of GY2023 Discretionary Funds Estimated Distribution of GY2024 Discretionary Funds[5] Increase from GY2023 to GY2024 Discretionary Funds
Alabama $142,609,329 $157,154,309 $14,544,980
Alaska $13,260,771 $14,613,261 $1,352,490
Arizona $185,096,490 $203,974,811 $18,878,321
Arkansas $99,638,070 $109,800,334 $10,162,264
California $753,500,129 $830,350,951 $76,850,822
Colorado $84,322,763 $92,922,992 $8,600,229
Connecticut $54,523,163 $60,084,078 $5,560,915
Delaware $19,895,267 $21,924,421 $2,029,154
District of Columbia $11,883,837 $13,095,891 $1,212,054
Florida $441,113,418 $486,103,362 $44,989,944
Georgia $317,820,970 $350,236,098 $32,415,128
Hawaii $26,897,347 $29,640,655 $2,743,308
Idaho $44,718,419 $49,279,330 $4,560,911
Illinois $233,707,994 $257,544,289 $23,836,295
Indiana $171,467,643 $188,955,934 $17,488,291
Iowa $72,959,695 $80,400,984 $7,441,289
Kansas $67,235,470 $74,092,935 $6,857,465
Kentucky $140,087,611 $154,375,396 $14,287,785
Louisiana $141,504,238 $155,936,508 $14,432,270
Maine $21,418,590 $23,603,110 $2,184,520
Maryland $98,099,044 $108,104,340 $10,005,296
Massachusetts $99,909,733 $110,099,705 $10,189,972
Michigan $212,718,838 $234,414,412 $21,695,574
Minnesota $100,562,168 $110,818,683 $10,256,515
Mississippi $94,348,400 $103,971,162 $9,622,762
Missouri $150,588,278 $165,947,045 $15,358,767
Montana $19,982,100 $22,020,110 $2,038,010
Nebraska $43,765,096 $48,228,776 $4,463,680
Nevada $65,493,410 $72,173,200 $6,679,790
New Hampshire $16,264,699 $17,923,565 $1,658,866
New Jersey $147,878,694 $162,961,106 $15,082,412
New Mexico $66,533,555 $73,319,431 $6,785,876
New York $357,011,697 $393,423,957 $36,412,260
North Carolina $235,784,820 $259,832,934 $24,048,114
North Dakota $14,277,486 $15,733,672 $1,456,186
Ohio $272,731,543 $300,547,919 $27,816,376
Oklahoma $121,009,871 $133,351,884 $12,342,013
Oregon $72,388,389 $79,771,410 $7,383,021
Pennsylvania $243,242,551 $268,051,293 $24,808,742
Puerto Rico $48,996,165 $53,993,371 $4,997,206
Rhode Island $17,717,650 $19,524,705 $1,807,055
South Carolina $140,670,054 $155,017,244 $14,347,190
South Dakota $21,668,578 $23,878,595 $2,210,017
Tennessee $211,736,964 $233,332,395 $21,595,431
Texas $859,633,625 $947,309,191 $87,675,566
Utah $95,913,285 $105,695,652 $9,782,367
Vermont $8,986,530 $9,903,082 $916,552
Virginia $153,733,954 $169,413,554 $15,679,600
Washington $116,622,646 $128,517,198 $11,894,552
West Virginia $49,333,493 $54,365,104 $5,031,611
Wisconsin $112,457,640 $123,927,395 $11,469,755
Wyoming $8,924,631 $9,834,870 $910,239
United States $8,021,387,000[6] $8,746,387,000[7] $725,000,000[8]

[1] Nina Chien, “Estimates of Child Care Eligibility & Receipt for Fiscal Year 2020,” Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,

[2] CLASP calculation based on enacted appropriations amount according to each appropriations bill, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023,, Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2024,

[3] Fiscal Year (FY) refers to the period from October 1 through September 30, during which states and territories may spend funds awarded in the current and prior years. Grant Year (GY) refers to the year the funds were awarded, although states and territories may liquidate some Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) funding streams in later fiscal years. Note: CCDF refers to the federal funding sources for child care and is used interchangeably with CCDBG in this fact sheet.

[4] CCDBG annual discretionary funds are distributed based on three main factors. The first two factors compare the ratio of the number of children in a state to the number of children in the country within the following categories: the number of children under five and the number of children who receive free or reduced priced lunch. The other factor makes a comparison of the three-year national per capita income with the three-year average state per capital income.

[5] CLASP’s estimated state discretionary funding distributions are derived from the GY2023 CCDF Allocations based on Appropriations, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families, 2023, Actual amounts may differ due to the HHS Secretary’s authority and discretion in set-aside funding and re-allocation of previous year’s resources.

[6] The total reflects the discretionary funding amount detailed in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, which includes funds for tribes, territories, and state; research, evaluation, technical assistance; and the CCDF hotline and website. This total does not reflect a $80,213,870 transfer based on the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 provision giving the HHS Secretary authority to transfer discretionary funding between appropriations. In addition, the total does not include any funds available through the American Rescue Plan Act.

[7] The total includes all discretionary funds for tribes, territories, and states; research, evaluation, technical assistance, federal administration; and the CCDF hotline and website as detailed in the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2024,

[8] The estimated increase in funds from GY2023 to GY2024 is based on the amounts detailed in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 and the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2024 and does not reflect the $80 million that was transferred out of CCDBG under the authority of the HHS Secretary in GY2023,

>> Download the fact sheet here

This week: John Oliver Shouts out CLASP, Celebrating Women’s History Month

March 21, 2024

John Oliver Tackles Student Debt, Features CLASP Report

In the most recent “Last Week Tonight” show, John Oliver focused on student debt and cited a 2022 report we co-authored with the National Consumer Law Center. Our report addressed the disproportionate impact of student debt on Black borrowers.

CLASP Reflects on Women’s History Month

Over the month of March, CLASP has used our social media channels to lift up the voices and impact of women who have played key roles in the fight for economic, social, racial, and gender justice. Among the women we have featured so far are Nancy Duff Campbell, Marian Wright Edelman, and Marcia Greenberger. Stay tuned as we highlight other women leaders this month.

Unleashing Worker Power: Building Good Jobs Beyond the Traditional Workforce System

On March 12, CLASP, in partnership with other organizations, launched The Good Jobs Collaborative (GJC). In a new report released at the event, GJC features its findings from projects in which workers are improving their jobs through organizing, policy, workforce training, job restructuring, and more.
The United States remains one of the few countries that does not offer paid family or medical leave. This often forces working families to make the difficult choice between financial stability and their health and well-being. The recently re-introduced Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act hopes to establish a comprehensive and inclusive federal paid leave policy that meets the needs of workers.

CLASP in the News


The Exploitation of Black Athletes


Young Workers Have Rights: What to Know About Your Labor Protections


POLITICO Weekly Education

Recent Events

March 19: Tiffany Ferrette gave a lecture at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice on child care and early education policy situated within U.S. social systems and the history of race/ism in social policy.


March 14: India Heckstall spoke at the Generation Hope conference in New Orleans on a panel about CLASP’s work on Black student fathers.

By Nicolas Martinez

4 min read.

Last night, President Biden addressed a joint session of Congress to discuss the administration’s priorities over the next year. CLASP tuned in to watch and give live updates and reactions during the speech on Twitter (X). Today, we’re reviewing some of the best moments of last night and applauding several policies that would help create a more equitable economy that helps families, workers, people of color, and young people thrive.

Here are the top highlights of what we were looking at:

The PRO Act

Since the 2023 State of the Union address, we’ve seen a notable surge in labor organizing activities, yet the increase in union membership remains virtually unchanged. Workers still face an ongoing struggle and lack the effective collective bargaining power they deserve. Current policies continue to be barriers, allowing employers to exploit and ignore workers, which impedes workers’ ability to advance tangible union contracts. CLASP urges Congress to pass the #PROAct to safeguard and empower workers. Through organizing efforts, strikes, and labor actions, workers are voicing their demands for enhanced union access, stronger labor laws, protections for gig workers, and safer workplaces. Now is the time for Congress to act.

Since the last #SOTU, we’ve seen a surge in labor organizing efforts yet virtually no increase in union membership. Harsh truth persists: even with such job growth, countless hardworking individuals continue to lack the collective bargaining power they deserve. #StateOfTheUnion

— CLASP (@CLASP_DC) March 8, 2024

“Pass the PRO Act!”#SOTU2024

— ‘Indi’ Dutta-Gupta (@IndivarD) March 8, 2024

“Unions built the middle class”. Yes, and we’ve turned our back on working people over the past half century: #SOTU2024

— ‘Indi’ Dutta-Gupta (@IndivarD) March 8, 2024

> Read more about CLASP’s work on worker justice

Child Tax Credit

We applaud President Biden for prioritizing the Child Tax Credit (CTC), as it serves as a pivotal tool for investing in the well-being of children and families. The program reduced child poverty by half in 2021, an unprecedented drop that should not go unnoticed. The CTC is a critical program for families dealing with financial strain, and its expansion demonstrated a commitment to the nation’s children. Every child deserves a fair start regardless of their family’s income. The CTC is an important tool for achieving economic justice and building the fundamental foundation of our nation’s economic success. National surveys that CLASP conducted show that the expanded CTC significantly helped families, and Congress made a mistake in ending the monthly payments.

The #childtaxcredit is an opportunity to invest in children and families through our tax code. When it was expanded in 2021, it dramatically reduced child poverty. @burnsideashley1 of #SOTUwithCLASP #SOTU2024 #ChildTaxCredit

— CLASP (@CLASP_DC) March 8, 2024

“No child in this country should go hungry.” – POTUS Yes, never forget the power of the enhanced #ChildTaxCredit–cutting poverty nearly in half. Let’s expand it again. #SOTU2024

— ‘Indi’ Dutta-Gupta (@IndivarD) March 8, 2024

The #ChildTaxCredit cut the child poverty rate IN HALF in 2021. It is rare to see policy have such incredible and dramatic impacts. Let’s make the #CTC expansions permanent.#SOTUwithCLASP #SOTU2024 #SOTU

— Ashley Burnside (@burnsideashley1) March 8, 2024

>>Read more about CLASP’s work on the Child Tax Credit.

Paid Leave for All

Our economy cannot move forward and prosper without care work in mind. That’s why we urge Congress to pass the FAMILY Act, because we know our economy can only flourish once we have #PaidLeaveForAll. CLASP applauds the focus on paid leave policies that enable parents to nurture their children without stress or financial strain. Families shouldn’t have to make the unthinkable choice between keeping their jobs or caring for their children and loved ones. Despite some progress through state and local policies, tens of millions of workers are left with impossible choices today. Only national policymakers can fully address these failures and shortcomings. Congress should move expeditiously to pass these bills into law.

Paid leave is crucial for families because it allows parents to bond with their new child without worrying about lost income. It’s a vital time for both parent and infant well-being. #SOTUwithCLASP #SOTU2024 #StateOfTheUnion #PaidLeaveForAll

— CLASP (@CLASP_DC) March 8, 2024

>> Read more about CLASP’s work on paid family and medical leave.

Reproductive Justice

The Dobbs decision has profoundly impacted individuals across the United States. Restrictions on abortion access not only endanger lives but also pose serious risks to public health. Disproportionate harm comes to people of color and people with low incomes who face systemic barriers to health care, including limited access to abortion, inadequate paid family leave and child care, and low wages. It is critical to legalize abortion, address systemic inequities, and ensure access to comprehensive reproductive health care.

It’s essential that #abortion is legal, but that’s not enough. Decades of the #Hyde Amendment and other restrictions denied people abortion care even when it was legal. #SOTU2024 #StateOfTheUnion

— CLASP (@CLASP_DC) March 8, 2024

>> Read more of CLASP’s work on reproductive justice.


Child Care

Ensuring access to affordable and accessible child care and early education opportunities is important for families to flourish and the economy to thrive. We must make meaningful investments to turn this necessity into reality for families nationwide. The recent implementation of the new Child Care and Development Fund final rule is a significant milestone, expected to reduce costs for 100,000 families. This step forward acknowledges the pressing need for a system that better serves the needs of families and child care providers alike, and we express gratitude to the administration for its efforts in making this progress possible.

Imagine it, #ChildCare, #ElderCare, #PaidLeave & addressing interconnected systems of care. Imagine how this will strengthen well-being, economic mobility, access to higher ed/job training, parents & caregivers having a break & peace of mind. #SOTU2024

— Alycia Hardy (@ahardyMPA17) March 8, 2024

>>Learn more about CLASP’s work on child care.


While President Biden’s State of the Union address prioritized many critical policies that would help working families thrive, the speech made it clear that the administration will continue down a path of enforcing harmful and failed immigration policies rather than strengthen our country by supporting and welcoming immigrants. While the Biden Administration has taken some important actions to support immigrants, its consistent pattern has been one step forward and three steps back.

The policies @POTUS is championing – asylum bans, expedited removal – will only worsen the problems we’ve been facing due to our country’s decades of failed immigration policy. #StateOfTheUnion

— CLASP (@CLASP_DC) March 8, 2024

>> Read more on CLASP’s reaction to President Biden’s stance on immigration in our newest blog.

This statement can be attributed to Indivar Dutta-Gupta, president and executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP).

Washington, D.C., February 29, 2024—Today, the Biden Administration has taken an important step in addressing the child care challenges facing families and providers and that are particularly acute for families paid the lowest wages. Today’s final rule on Improving Child Care Access, Affordability, and Stability in the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) is the administration’s latest effort in a strategy to support the families who need care and the providers they depend on.

CLASP applauds the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services for finalizing this rule, which is projected to lower costs for 100,000 families by capping co-payments to 7 percent of their income. This cap could save families an average of over $200 monthly in states that don’t yet cap co-pays. The rule also encourages states to implement “presumptive eligibility,” which allows families immediate access to care while they submit documentation to verify their eligibility. In addition, the rule directs states to streamline and speed up their processes for paying child care providers. This change will improve the financial stability of 140,000 child care providers and incentivize more providers to participate in the Child Care and Development Block Grant program.

Through this rule, the federal government is playing a crucial role in supporting the needs of families and providers. Now, it’s up to the states to take advantage of the new opportunities in the rule’s provisions. For states to take full advantage of these opportunities, it’s incumbent on policymakers and advocates to continue fighting for additional public investment in child care, including much-needed federal funding.

We support these changes and will work with states and the federal government to ensure they will increase access to child care for families, better support providers and the workforce, and reduce the administrative burden on state child care agencies. The broader child care agenda is far from done, but today’s final rule is an important step in the right direction.

By Karen Schulman, Director of State Child Care Policy, NWLC, and Tiffany Ferrette, Senior Policy Analyst, Child Care and Early Education, CLASP

Title: CLASP and NWLC Comments on Child Care and Development Fund Plan Preprint for States/Territories for FFY 2025-2027 (ACF-118) and Extension of Child Care and Development Fund Plan Preprint for States/Territories for FFY 2022-2024

CLASP, in collaboration with NWLC, responded to a public comment about the update to the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Plan Preprint for 2025-2027.


>>Read full comments

Short-sighted, Punitive Proposal to Dismantle Asylum Would Harm Children, Families

Earlier this week, CLASP issued a statement urging Congress to reject harmful legislation that would gut the U.S. asylum system and funnel billions of dollars to harmful border enforcement measures, and for the Biden Administration to reverse course and stand up for immigrant communities. Just yesterday, the Senate blocked the measure, although the passage of harmful immigration policies is still possible. Regardless, CLASP will continue to fight against such efforts that imperil the well-being of children and families.

read more

New Direct File Tool Pilot Will Ease Tax Filing for Many

During this year’s 2023 tax filing season, the IRS will test a new, free online tax filing tool that promises to help more tax filers access credits that they are eligible for, like the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit.

read more

Are We Listening? Youth Mental Health Challenges are Rooted in Racism and Discrimination

Young people of color experiencing poverty have noted how racism and discrimination are root causes and key traumas that adversely impact their mental health.

read more

Amicus Brief Details the Harm of DACA Rescission on U.S. Citizen Children

CLASP helped lead the development of an amicus brief to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in the case regarding the legality of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

read more

On January 31, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024. This bipartisan tax proposal would make a meaningful step toward a fully refundable and inclusive Child Tax Credit.

read more

CLASP in the News


Food Stamps: How Does SNAP Employment and Training Relate to Your Benefits?


The Enduring Harm of U.S. Deportations


Cupones de alimentos SNAP: Más solicitantes cualificarían si USDA elimina requisito de entrevista


‘We need that support;’ Jacksonville Black business owners concerned with money spent elsewhere

Recent Events

February 6: Indi Dutta-Gupta spoke at “In This Together: A Cross-Partisan Action Plan to Support Families with Young Children in America,” a Capitol Hill panel discussion hosted by Convergence Center for Policy Resolution.

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By Alisha Saxena

CLASP submits comments in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) released by the Office of Head Start to support improved wages and benefits for Head Start teachers, comprehensive mental health care, and quality improvements across the system.

>>Read the full comments here

CLASP Senior Policy Analyst, Tiffany Ferrette gave a keynote address at the Las Vegas My Brother’s Keeper Alliance in partnership with the Children’s Advocacy Alliance of Nevada on January 11, 2024. Tiffany’s address, titled ‘Persistence: How ours and their define the future,’ discussed the importance of equity to children’s development, how organizations can and should base their work in racial equity, and the role of decreasing and ultimately eliminating harsh disciplinary practices in building an equitable future.

By Alisha Saxena

A recent survey conducted by Data for Progress and CLASP paints a dire picture of the affordable child care landscape. This crisis has been years in the making; while the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) is the primary source of federal funding for child care in the United States, CCDF doesn’t have enough funding to reach all families with low incomes that could benefit from assistance. In fact, when all sources of funding, including CCDF, are considered, only 1 in 6 potentially eligible children receive assistance due to inadequate resources. This lack of financial support is coupled with a child care workforce crisis as providers leave the field for better-paying and less-stressful work. CCDF program data show a 5 percent decrease in the number of providers who participated in the child care assistance program between Fiscal Year (FY)19 and FY20. This comes on top of years of prior decline in participating providers, making finding affordable care even more challenging.

New results from the survey conducted by Data for Progress in collaboration with CLASP demonstrate the employment and financial challenges that parents face due to inaccessible child care.

Specific to the impact of child care on parents’ ability to work, CLASP and DFP found that:

These challenges further exacerbate longstanding and systemic racial inequities in accessing care, along with income inequality and child development outcomes. Black and Hispanic families were most likely to report inadequate access to child care during the pandemic, but these inequities existed long before then due to a combination of policies and systems designed to exclude certain populations from accessing care, including white supremacist views of who “deserved” care.

Today, Hispanic and American Indian Alaska Native communities disproportionately live in areas with a low supply of licensed child care. Child care instability is most common among families with low incomes. Given that cost is the primary barrier to families accessing child care, rising costs disproportionately limit access and deepen income inequality for communities of color. A lack of access to child care, along with changes in child care arrangements, can negatively impact child development. Thus, child care affordability and accessibility are crucial for ensuring equity in participation and outcomes.

The need for additional investment is urgent. The federal government must respond to the White House’s request and invest at least $16 billion to maintain the progress made with relief funding and to allow states to better support children and families. This investment will avoid disruptions in care and prevent further inequities for many communities. Existing funding is not enough to sustain the progress made with child care relief investments over the last three years, and congressional inaction will only worsen both the rising costs and shrinking supply of child care.