Over the course of the past several years, Congress has generated a supportive track record on early learning. Members on both sides of the aisle have worked together to significantly increase funding, while also enacting reforms to existing early childhood programs that elevate quality and leverage state and local leadership.
The latest edition of FFYF’s resource, “Congress: Bipartisan Champions for Early Learning” provides a snapshot of Congress’s bipartisan track record to date showcasing the legislation enacted and updated funding levels for programs supporting our nation’s youngest learners.
For example, just this past month, Congress approved an omnibus spending bill that includes a huge funding increase for some of the nation’s vital early learning and care programs. The historic bill spending bill increases funding for the Child Care Development Grant (CCDBG) program to $5.226 billion – the single largest increase to CCDBG in the program’s history. This represents an increase of $2.37 billion over FY2017 levels and effectively doubles the program’s discretionary funding. The FY2018 omnibus also includes:
- $9.86 billion for Head Start/Early Head Start;
- $755 million for Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships;
- $50 million for Child Care Means Parents in School;
- $5 million for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health;
- $381.12 million for IDEA Part B Preschool Grants;
- $470 million for IDEA Part C Grants for Infants and Families; and
- $250 million for the Preschool Development Grant program.
Overwhelming bipartisan support on Capitol Hill for early childhood education have 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.