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FY2022 Appropriations Omnibus Includes Increases for Existing Early Learning & Care Programs

News March 9, 2022

Congressional leaders have unveiled a bipartisan FY2022 omnibus government spending package, which includes an increase in critical funding for the core federal early learning and care programs. Each year, millions of low-income children from birth through age five benefit from the array of federal early learning and care programs. The House is expected to pass the measure today, along with a Continuing Resolution to extend FY2021 government funding until Tuesday, giving the Senate time to take up the FY2022 omnibus spending package this week before it heads to the president’s desk for signature.

The proposed FY2022 funding levels include:

  • Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program: $6.165 billion
    • A $254 million increase over FY2021 
  • Head Start and Early Head Start: $11.037 Billion
    • A $289 million increase over FY2021, of which $234 million is for a cost of living adjustment
  • Preschool Development Grant Birth Through Five (PDG B-5) program: $290 million
    • A $15 million increase over FY2021
  • IDEA Part B Preschool Grants: $409.5 million 
    • An $11.9 million increase over FY2021
  • IDEA Part C Grants for Infants and Toddlers: $496.3 million  
    • A $14.5 million increase over FY2021

See the proposed FY2022 funding levels from the president’s budget request, the House bill, and the Senate bill on our website here. Learn more about these essential early learning and care programs here.

In recent years, early learning and care programs have received broad bipartisan support and meaningful funding increases, regardless of the political party in control of Congress or the White House. Earlier this year, FFYF compiled all of the “Dear Colleague” letters members of the House and Senate sent to FY2022 appropriators calling for robust funding for early childhood education programs. These six letters demonstrate the strong number of lawmakers who continue to support early learning programs, including 43 Republicans — highlighting just how popular these effective programs are across the political spectrum. 

While the proposed funding increases for these crucial programs are necessary, they are less than what was included in President Biden’s FY2022 budget request to Congress and the levels passed by the House last year. In spring of 2021, FFYF was joined by our national advocacy partners in calling for significantly more discretionary funding for these programs. Without robust increases, these programs continue to only reach a fraction of children and families eligible to participate, which is generally based on income. Meanwhile, families at every income level struggle to access high-quality care options that meet their needs, whether due to high cost or limited supply. 

In addition to the ongoing need for robust discretionary funding increases for the existing federal early learning and care programs that families and children rely on, Congress has an opportunity to build a strong, stable early learning system by passing significant, sustained reforms and investments in child care and pre-K through the reconciliation package currently under consideration on Capitol Hill. 

Full text of the bill can be found here

The section of the report including the early learning and care programs can be found here

A summary from the House Appropriations Committee is here

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