Washington, D.C. – Kris Perry, Executive Director of the First Five Years Fund (FFYF), released the following statement upon the unveiling of the administration’s fiscal year 2018 (FY18) budget proposal:
“The overwhelming research makes clear quality early childhood education for children from birth through age five is among the best investments we as a society can make. Congress has consistently recognized the importance of early learning and care programs. The recent passage of the FY17 Omnibus Bill reaffirmed bipartisan lawmakers’ commitment to the federal early childhood programs from birth through age 5.
“The administration has voiced its desire to tackle important issues like affordable child care for working families. While the budget doesn’t target these programs for deep cuts, the federal budget should do more to support young children, from home visiting, to child care, to Head Start and preschool. The administration’s FY18 budget request serves as a reminder that lawmakers must work together to make high quality early learning and care more accessible for all families.
“Moving forward, FFYF will continue to work with bipartisan leaders on Capitol Hill to build on the ever-growing momentum and support for federal early childhood education programs. These programs are essential to laying the foundation for all children to succeed.”
Congress’ bipartisan support led to the authorization of the FY17 Omnibus legislation, which sustained funding levels for the Preschool Development Grants program, and increased federal funding for:
- Head Start ($85 million increase to $9.253 billion)
- Child Care and Development Block Grants ($95 million increase to $2.856 billion)
- Early Head-Start Child Care Partnerships ($5 million increase to $640 million).
Earlier this year, advocates and experts testified before the Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee (L-HHS) of House Appropriations on the need to support these vital early childhood programs as part of the FY18 budget. Both Republican and Democratic members of the subcommittee spoke with those testifying about the necessity of supporting young children from birth through age 5.
FFYF is a bipartisan organization that provides deep knowledge and resources to advocate for proven investments in federal policies that support the first five years of a child’s life. To learn more about FFYF visit http://www.ffyf.org.