The First Five Years Fund (FFYF) released the following statement today after the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee passed the Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) appropriations bill for Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. Notably, the spending proposals passed by the full Senate Appropriations Committee held steady or increased FY18 funding for several critical early childhood programs:

“At a time of great fiscal challenges in Congress, the Senate Appropriations Committee’s vote to protect funding for crucial early childhood education programs is a move that further solidifies the bipartisan commitment to the care and education of America’s young children,” said Kris Perry, Executive Director of FFYF. “The First Five Years Fund looks forward to our continued work with Congress to ensure the implementation of federal policies that expand access to high-quality early learning and child care programs for all children and families in America, particularly those in low-income households. These efforts are essential for working families that count on this support.”

Specifically, the Committee increased or held FY17 funding levels steady for the following programs:

  • Head Start (funding maintained at $9.3B)
  • Child Care and Development Block Grants (funding maintained at $2.9B)
  • Preschool Development Grants (funding maintained at $250M)

The First Five Years Fund provides knowledge, data and advocacy – persuading federal policymakers to make investments in the first five years of a child’s life that create greater returns for all. FFYF helps America achieve better results in education, health and economic productivity through investments in quality early childhood education programs for disadvantaged children.