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Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee released its proposed FY2023 funding bills. The appropriations package includes funding legislation from the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, which provides funding for core federal early childhood education programs, including the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5) Program, Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Program, and Head Start and Early Head Start. 

These essential programs, which are proven to generate significant education, health, and economic benefits in children and families, currently only reach a fraction of eligible families due to underinvestment across the board.

The Senate’s proposed FY2023 funding levels include:

  • Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG)
    • $7.165 billion — $1 billion above FY2022
  • Head Start and Early Head Start
    • $12.036 billion — $1 billion above FY2022 — including
      • $140 million to expand Head Start, Early Head Start, and Early Head Start–Child Care Partnerships
      •  $596 million for a cost of living adjustment
  • Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5)
    • $350 million — $60 million above FY2022
  • IDEA Part B Preschool Grants
    • $445 million — $35.451 million above FY2022
  • IDEA Part C Grants for Infants and Families
    • $591.306 million — $95 million above FY2022
  • Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program (CCAMPIS)
    • $95 million — $30 million above FY2022

In June, the House Appropriations Committee voted to pass its FY2023 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) appropriations bill. 

FFYF has compiled various “Dear Colleague” letters that members of the House and Senate sent to FY2022 Congressional appropriators calling for robust funding for early childhood education programs. A record 8 separate “Dear Colleague” letters were circulated in support of increased funding for the various federal early learning and care programs. Over 200 Members of Congress called for increased funding for federal early childhood education and care programs including 177 Democrats and 28 Republicans.

Notably, the funding increase requested by a group of Senate Republicans for the CCDBG program was greater than the funding level proposed in the appropriations legislation unveiled today. 

Without sustained increases, these programs will continue to fail to reach the children and families eligible to participate, which is generally based on income. Meanwhile, families at every income level struggle to access high-quality care options that meet their needs, whether due to high cost or limited supply. In addition to the annual appropriations process, Congress provided federal pandemic relief funding that was vital to keeping the child care market afloat and preventing massive nationwide closures. 

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