Over 300 state and local advocates from every state have united in urging Congress to build on past efforts by providing the highest feasible funding levels for early learning. On June 9th, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a $161.857 billion spending bill for FY2017, which included bipartisan measures to increase or sustain funding for core early learning programs. Later in mid-July, the House Appropriations Committee approved a $161.6 billion spending bill for FY2017. The bill provides increases in funding for early learning programs, including Head Start and Child Care and Development Block Grants (CCDBG), while also sustaining funding for Preschool Development Grants. Under the constraints of limited federal funding, the bill as approved by the committee would appropriate funding for programs proven to have the greatest national benefit and increased federal investment in early learning.

Funding for these crucial programs helps ensure that the most at-risk families are supported through affordable, high-quality early care and learning. However, more work lays ahead as the respective Senate and House Appropriations Subcommittees begin working towards a final bill in conference.

The FY2017 Appropriations letter backed by state organizations from all 50 states emphasizes what’s at stake and strongly urges that early learning programs be provided the highest feasible funding levels in order to ensure that every child in this country, especially those from low-income families, has access to high-quality early childhood education and child care opportunities, such that they enter kindergarten ready to learn and succeed in life.

Read the letter here.