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Kelly O’Brien

For immediate release
September 14, 2012

WASHINGTON – Earlier today the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released calculations on the effects of funding cuts that could be triggered by the sequestration provisions of the Budget Control Act of 2011. As anticipated, they illustrate the harsh toll such cuts would take on vulnerable young children. Earlier estimates based on Congressional Budget Office projections that non-defense discretionary programs would be reduced by 7.8 percent show that up to 100,000 children would lose Head Start services and approximately 80,000 fewer children would have access to child care. The OMB report does not go into this level of detail, but the 8.2 percent reduction in non-defense discretionary programs is even worse than projected.

“A nation without the will and ability to fund early childhood education is a nation without a strategy for increasing economic growth—but rather one for increasing debt,” Kris Perry, executive director of the First Five Years Fund, said. “Research clearly shows that investments in high-quality early learning prevent later social and economic problems which reduce productivity and increase debt. Defunding early childhood education only costs America more in the long term. We urge Congress and the White House to find a sensible approach to tackling the nation’s budget woes so as not to deprive children and the American economy of the opportunity to grow and grow stronger.”