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Child care is expensive, and there’s a massive difference between what providers need to charge to keep doors open and what parents can afford. Each year, Congress allocates federal funding which serves as the foundation for early learning and child care programs in all 50 states. 

This funding increases child care and early learning options for parents and families through a variety of federal programs, including: CCDBG, Head Start and Early Head Start, PDG B-5, and more. These programs benefit families, businesses, and local economies in all 50 states. Stable federal funding is essential to keeping child care services strong while helping more parents afford the care they need to go to work.

While federal investments for early learning and care have garnered strong bipartisan support for years, current federal investments only reach a fraction of income-eligible families. Congress must continue to support working families by protecting and prioritizing federal funding for early learning and child care programs. 


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Funding for Key Early Learning Programs, FY2025

March 13, 2024

Each year, Congress determines funding levels for all of the federal defense and non-defense discretionary programs, including those that support the care and education of children from birth through age …


2024: ABCS of Federal Early Learning and Child Care Funding Streams

March 5, 2024

Every year, millions of children who range in age from birth through five benefit from an array of federal early learning and care programs. While there are different early learning …


FFYF Capsule Collection: Appropriations and Child Care

December 1, 2023

What Are Appropriations? In A Nutshell Even with growing support from states, businesses and philanthropy, federal funding makes up the majority of investment in child care and early learning in …



FY25 Sees Strong Bipartisan Support for Child Care & Early Learning Funding

May 7, 2024

Dozens of Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle signed letters expressing support for important funding for child care and early learning programs. Each year, Members of Congress …


2024 Hill Briefing: ABCs of Federal Child Care and Early Learning

March 25, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The First Five Years Fund (FFYF) hosted Congressional staff for its annual bipartisan “ABCs of Federal Child Care and Early Learning” briefing. The session focused on the …


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