Each year through the appropriations process, Congress determines and allocates funding for federal programs, activities and priorities. And for the past several years, Congressional appropriations bills have sustained or increased funding for the federal early learning and care programs, even as other priorities and programs have been decreased or eliminated. The annual appropriations process provides a critical opportunity each year to both protect and build upon funding gains for the core early childhood education programs. And with many competing priorities that require funding, Members of Congress showcasing the bipartisan support for, and value of early childhood education is crucial to maintaining our momentum.

On Capitol Hill, “Dear Colleague” letters convey support for these programs among Members on both sides of the aisle. Lawmakers collaborate to show appropriators the breadth and depth of support among their colleagues, and often make specific requests related to program funding levels.

FFYF has compiled the various “Dear Colleague” letters from the past several months related to funding for early childhood education in FY2020 appropriations. This year there were 5 letters that garnered 269 signatures in the House and Senate calling for greater funding for specific programs, such as Preschool Development Grants, Head Start, Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), and Parts B & C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in FY2020 appropriations.

 

Bipartisan House Dear Colleague Letter Supporting Preschool Development Grants in FY2020

A letter to Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro and Ranking Member Tom Cole urging the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee to fund the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5) program with $400 million in the Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations bill. This letter is Aled by Representative Joaquin Castro (D-TX) & Representative John Katko (R-NY) and signed by 79 Democrats & 2 Republican.

Republican House Dear Colleague Letter Supporting Head Start in FY2020

A letter to Ranking Member Kay Granger and Ranking Member Tom Cole urging the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee to continue to prioritize robust funding for Head Start, including Early Head Start, in the Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations bill. This letter is led by Representative Steve Stivers (R-OH) and signed by 34 Republicans.

Bipartisan House Dear Colleague Letter Supporting Head Start in FY2020

A letter to Chairman Nita Lowey, Ranking Member Kay Granger, Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro, and Ranking Member Tom Cole urging the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee to fund the Head Start program, including the Early Head Start, with at least $11,113,095,000 in the Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations bill. This letter is led by Representative Katherine Clark (D-MA) and signed by 179 Democrats & 1 Republican.

Bipartisan House Dear Colleague Letter Supporting the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Program and Parts B & C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in FY2020

A letter to Chairwoman Nita Lowey, Ranking Member Kay Granger, Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro, and Ranking Member Tom Cole urging the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee to provide an additional $5 billion for CCDBG, at least $398,400,000 for IDEA Part B, and at least $491,300,00 for IDEA Part C in the Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations bill. This letter is led by Representative Katherine Clark (D-MA) and signed by 145 Democrats and 1 Republican.

Democratic Senate Dear Colleague Letter Supporting Early Learning Programs in FY2020

A letter to Chairman Roy Blunt and Ranking Member Patty Murray urging the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee to fund CCDBG, Head Start, Early Head Start, Preschool Development Grants, and early intervention services through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part C (Grants for Infants and Families) and Part B Section 619 (Preschool Grants) at the highest feasible funding in the Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations bill. This letter is led by Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Tina Smith (D-MN) & Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and signed by 41 Democrats.