Senate Deal Includes Historic Investment in Child Care

Washington, DC, February 8, 2018—The Senate bipartisan budget agreement reached by Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Schumer (D-NY) includes a historic $5.8 billion increase for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG). CCDBG is the nation’s primary source of funding for child care assistance for low-income families and to improve the quality of child care for all children. Senators Warren (D-MA), Sanders (I-VT), and Murray (D-WA) championed this effort to double funding for CCDBG over two years. This hard-fought victory is an opportunity to improve the health, safety, and quality of child care for our most vulnerable children and to provide a path to economic opportunity for more low-income families.

“The Center for Law and Social Policy applauds Senate leadership in addressing one of the biggest challenges faced by working families,” said Hannah Matthews, CLASP’s director of child care and early education. “This significant win will help 230,000 children whose hard-working parents struggle to afford quality child care. By investing in child care, Congress would take an important step forward in breaking down barriers to economic success and putting our kids on the path for a better future.”

After years of budget neglect, CCDBG is today serving the fewest children in its history. This major investment will reverse course—expanding access to care and laying the groundwork for future investments. Further, this crucial first step brings us closer to guaranteeing high-quality, affordable child care for all working parents as envisioned in the Child Care For Working Families Act, proposed legislation introduced in September.

The Senate’s action is an important step in the budget process for fiscal year 2018 (FY 2018). Congress is currently operating under a Continuing Resolution for FY 2018, which began October 1. The House and Senate must come to an agreement and pass a spending bill by the end of today in order to keep the government open.

“While CLASP is heartened by this important investment in child care, Congress still has significant work to do in protecting vulnerable children. In particular, we are disappointed that the budget does not address the crisis facing young immigrants who are losing their protections because of President Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. We stand firmly with our allies in the immigration community in calling for a permanent path to citizenship for these young Americans,” said Olivia Golden, CLASP’s executive director.

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The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) is a national, nonpartisan, anti-poverty organization advancing policy solutions that work for low-income people. With nearly 50 years of trusted expertise, a deeply knowledgeable staff, and a commitment to practical yet visionary approaches to opportunity for all, CLASP lifts up the voices of poor and low-income children, families, and individuals, equips advocates with strategies that work, and helps public officials put good ideas into practice. The organization’s solutions directly address the barriers that individuals and families face because of race, ethnicity, and immigration status, in addition to low income. For more information, visit www.clasp.org and follow @CLASP_DC.