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Today the House Appropriations Committee released its report for the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee’s (L-HHS) FY2019 appropriations bill. The report language gives insight into the committee’s accompanying bill, which includes appropriations for both the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Education (ED). The bill will be considered by the full L-HHS Committee tomorrow morning (6/26).

The L-HHS Subcommittee oversees funding for the core early learning and care programs, which have all been funded at sustained or increased levels in the FY2019 House bill.

Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG)

Through subsidies to states, CCDBG serves 1.4 million children annually, and allows parents to work while their children attend child care that promotes learning and healthy development. The increase in spending for CCDBG will equip states to implement the new regulations and help to ensure children benefit from high-quality early learning and care.

Allocation in House FY2019 bill: $5,226,000,000

As a result of the two-year budget deal that included an unprecedented increase in base funding for CCDBG, the House FY2019 allocation for CCDBG is level with FY2018 which amounts to an increase of nearly $5.9 billion over the 2 fiscal years.

Report language:

  • “The Committee includes $100,000,000 in bill language for competitive grants to States, territories, Tribes, local governments, and public entities to develop, implement, and evaluate models of providing care for working families in rural communities, families needing child care on an emergency basis, and families with nontraditional work hours.”
  • “The Committee recognizes that many child care providers are small business owners and therefore may need support to strengthen business operations. Accordingly, the committee recognizes that Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) funds could be used to strengthen the business practices of child care providers to expand the supply and improve the quality of child care services. Areas of support for child care providers may include, but are not limited to, such practices related to fiscal management, budgeting, record-keeping, hiring, developing, and retaining qualified staff, risk management, community relationships, marketing and public relations, and parent-provider communications, including who delivers the training, education and/or technical assistance. Accordingly, the Committee supports efforts by the Office of Child Care to report on its efforts to support States with strengthening business practices of child care providers, including available data on the average salaries and retention of child care staff by State and type of care, in the biennial Childcare Development Fund Report to Congress required by Section 658L of the CCDBG.

Head Start

Head Start serves over a million low-income children and families in communities across the country every year. Head Start, for 3- and 4-year-old preschoolers, and Early Head Start, for infants and toddlers, deliver comprehensive early learning, health, nutrition and family support services to low-income children and their families.

Allocation in House FY2019 bill: $9,913,095,000

The Committee recommends a $50 million overall increase above FY2018 for Head Start. Within that Head Start allocation, the House further specifies that $25 million above FY2018 spending be allocated to the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership grants and to the conversation of Head Start slots into Early Head Start slots, both of which serve the infant and toddler population.

Report language:

  • “The Committee recommends $9,913,095,000 for the Head Start program, which is $50,000,000 above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level and $638,095,000 above the fiscal year 2019 budget request. Within the total for Head Start, the Committee recommends $25,000,000 for a cost-of-living adjustment and includes $25,000,000 for the Designation Renewal System.”
  • “In addition, the Committee recommends $780,000,000 for Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership grants, which is $25,000,000 above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level and $780,000,000 above the fiscal year 2019 budget request. The Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership program brings together Early Head Start and child care through layering of funding to provide comprehensive and continuous services to low-income infants, toddlers, and their families. The program enhances developmental services and supports for low-income infants and toddlers, and their families, by providing strong relationship-based experiences and preparing them for the transition into Head Start and preschool.”

Preschool Development Grants  

The new Preschool Development Grants program provides competitive grants, administered by HHS in coordination with ED, for states to improve coordination, quality, and access for early childhood education for low- and moderate-income children from birth to kindergarten entry.

Allocation in House FY2019 bill: $250,000,000

Funding for the new Preschool Development Grants is level with FY2018 in the House bill.

Report language:

  • “The Committee recommends $250,000,000 for Preschool Development Grants, which is the same as the fiscal year 2018 enacted level and $250,000,000 above the fiscal year 2019 budget request. This program provides grants to States to build State and local capacity to provide preschool for 4-year-olds from low- and moderate income families. Research confirms that high-quality preschool improves school readiness and long-term academic success of children by supporting their academic and social-emotional skills. Support for this grant is an important step to building a globally competitive 21st century workforce.”

The full report is accessible here. Stay tuned for continued updates from FFYF about early learning and care in the FY2019 appropriations process.

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