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March 14, 2018

The Honorable Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, Chairman
House Appropriations Committee
H-305, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515 
The Honorable Nita Lowey, Ranking Member
House Appropriations Committee
1016 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515 
The Honorable Tom Cole, Chairman
House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education
2368-B Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable Rosa DeLauro, Ranking Member
House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor,
Health and Human Services, and Education
1016 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

 

Dear Chairman Frelinghuysen, Ranking Member Lowey, Chairman Cole, and Ranking Member DeLauro:

As you consider Fiscal Year 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations legislation, we urge you to include the following high-impact investments in early education, early intervention, and quality child care:

  • Funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) equal to the amount envisioned by the bipartisan budget agreement for Fiscal Year 2019. Child care remains one of the highest costs faced by American families, and as a result, far too many parents must choose between the healthy development of their children and making basic ends meet. These high-impact federal funds leverage the individual purchasing power of American families, and without them, millions of working parents will be unable to contribute to our nation’s economic prosperity. Every month, CCDBG funding provides over 847,000 American families with access to quality, affordable child care, impacting just under 4 million American children. During the 1131h Congress, CCDBG was reauthorized with strong bipartisan support for the first time since 1996. The new law includes provisions designed to ensure the health and safety of children in child care settings, and make child care assistance more accessible to low-income families. However, implementing these important reforms will demand new resources to enable states to meet the new requirements without cutting child care assistance to children-   already, CCDBG serves 373,000 fewer children per month than it did in 2006.
  • $479,800,000 in FY19 funding for Grants for Infants and Families under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, equal to the enacted FYI7 level indexed for two years of inflation. A simple child hearing test costs $10-$50. A missed or late hearing impairment diagnosis costs a lifetime of diminished communication skills. This program allows states to provide early intervention and screening for 373,000 American children per year with disabilities, including but not limited to hearing tests. Renowned economists, including Nobel Laureate James Heckman, have demonstrated high-quality early education can produce from $7 to $16 in benefits for every $1 spent. This substantial return on investment is derived largely from long-term savings associated with a reduced need for special education, improved health outcomes, higher rates of high school and college graduation. decreased dependence on welfare programs. and increased workforce productivity of children who receive a high-quality early education.
  • $385,220,000 in FY19 funding for Preschool Grants under Part B Section 619 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, equal to the enacted FYl7 level indexed for two years of inflation. These funds leverage significant  nonfederal investment  to ensure 760,000 children  with disabilities  aged 3-5 enter school  ready to succeed.  As  stated above, research has demonstrated early childhood education is an effective strategy for improving the developmental outcomes and long-term success of children. especially low• income children. This program is a critical part of that effort.

Together, these programs typically represent less than 0.09% of the entire federal budget. but they have an outsized impact on the economic competitiveness of future generations. They also provide a strong. continuing return to the American taxpayer by both ensuring the sustained prosperity of our nation as a whole and helping families succeed.

We hope you will fully support these investments. which are critical to American working women. families. and young learners.

Sincerely,



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