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Senate FY2021 Funding Bill Includes Increases to Federal Early Learning Programs

News November 10, 2020

Today, the Senate Appropriations Committee released its FY2021 funding bills, a 12-bill package to fund the federal government beyond December 11, 2020, when government funding under the most recent Continuing Resolution runs out. The appropriations package includes funding legislation from the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, which provides funding for core federal early childhood education programs, including the Preschool Development Grant Program, Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Program, and Head Start and Early Head Start

The Senate’s proposed FY2021 funding levels include:

  • Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG)
    • $5.876 billion — $50 million above FY2020
  • Head Start and Early Head Start
    • $10.7 billion — $100 million above FY2020
    • Cost of Living Adjustment of $100 million for Early Head Start – Child Care Partnerships
  • Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5)
    • $275 million — Level Funding from FY2020
  • IDEA Part B Preschool Grants
    • $402.6 million — $7.5 million above FY2020
  • IDEA Part C Grants for Infants and Families
    • $484.5 million — $7.5 million above FY2020
  • Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program (CCAMPIS)
    • $54 million — Level Funding from FY2020

In July, the House of Representatives voted to pass the FY2021 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) appropriations bill as part of H.R. 7617, a six-bill bundle of appropriations legislation that included significant funding increases for federal early childhood education programs.

Earlier this year, FFYF compiled all of the “Dear Colleague” letters members of the House and Senate sent to FY2021 appropriators calling for robust funding for early childhood education programs. The six letters demonstrates a steady increase in the number of lawmakers who support early learning programs, including a record 47 Republicans — highlighting just how popular these effective programs are across the political spectrum. This year also saw a new bipartisan letter supporting additional funding for CCDBG and quality early childhood education in the IDEA. What’s more, the Preschool Development Grant Dear Colleague letter had over 100 signers, an increase of 25 members since last year. The six letters from both the House and Senate, garnered 279 signatures.

In recent years, early learning and care programs have received broad support and historic funding increases, regardless of the political party in control of Congress and the White House. Between FY2016 and FY2019, Head Start and Early Head Start saw an $890 million increase in funding, including $170 million for Early Head Start – Child Care Partnerships. Additionally, as part of negotiations for the Fiscal Year 2018 budget, the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) saw a historical increase of $2.37 billion over FY2017 funding levels. More recently, the FY2020 spending bills passed last year included $1 billion in increased funding for federal early learning and care programs. 

FFYF looks forward to continuing working with bipartisan leaders in the House and Senate to ensure the federal early learning and care programs receive the crucial funding increases they need in future government funding bills.

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