Late Wednesday evening, the U.S. House unveiled an omnibus government spending bill, which includes a huge funding increase for some of the nation’s vital early learning and care programs.

Overwhelming bipartisan support on Capitol Hill for early childhood education made greater funding levels possible, and we are grateful to the countless bipartisan champions in Congress who have continued to prioritize America’s young children.

Here are the proposed new funding levels for the core early childhood programs:

  • Child Care and Development Block Grants (CCDBG): $5.226 billion, which is a $2.37 billion increase above the FY2017 level.
  • Head Start: $9.863 billion, which is an increase of $610 million above the FY2017 level.
    • Of this amount, $755 million is included for Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships.
  • Preschool Development Grants: $250 million, which is the same as the FY2017 level.

The $5.226 billion in funding for Child Care included in the House omnibus bill is the single largest increase to CCDBG in the program’s history! This crucial funding will allow states to implement important quality improvements that support children’s development and education. The major funding increase was made possible as part of a bipartisan agreement between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) during a previous government funding bill negotiation.

FFYF joined dozens of early learning and other child advocacy organizations in calling for Congress to make good on the deal negotiated by Senators McConnell and Schumer.

CCDBG was last reauthorized in 2014 by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote and included updates to raise the bar on quality through improved health and safety. 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 $5.226 billion increase in spending for CCDBG would equip states to implement the new regulations and help to ensure children benefit from high-quality early learning and care.

As Congress works to finalize the Omnibus funding bill, we call on lawmakers to ensure that the quality early learning and care programs like Early Head Start/Head Start, CCDBG and more receive the vital increases they need and deserve.