Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Senate voted today to approve important funding increases for many of the nation’s federal early learning and care programs, with a bipartisan vote of 85 to 7, on a funding package that included the appropriations bill from of the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (L-HHS). The bill passed today will soon head to conference negotiations with the House, which also approved increases to many early childhood programs.
“The opportunities made possible by these important investments will pay dividends for generations to come,” said Sarah Rittling, executive director of the First Five Years Fund (FFYF). “The Senate’s bipartisan action today demonstrates lawmakers’ continued commitment to improving the quality of, and access to, early learning and care for children from birth through age 5. All children benefit from access to high-quality early childhood education, and the crucial programs and partnerships supported by this appropriations bill help ensure those benefits reach more kids in low-income families who stand to gain the most.”
Notably, the Senate bill increases funding for Head Start and Early Head Start by $250 million, maintains funding for the new Preschool Development Grants program at $250 million, and sustains the recent historic $2.37 billion funding increase to the Child Care and Development Block Grants (CCDBG) program.
“We are grateful to the bipartisan champions in Congress who continue to prioritize the care and education of America’s children from birth through age five, and we look forward to working with lawmakers throughout the year to sustain and grow this progress,” added Rittling.
The First Five Years Fund provides knowledge, data and advocacy – persuading federal policymakers to make investments in the first five years of a child’s life that create greater returns for all. FFYF helps America achieve better results in education, health and economic productivity through investments in quality early childhood education programs for disadvantaged children. http://www.ffyf.org