WASHINGTON, Dec. 22, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Early Tuesday morning, House and Senate Appropriations leaders released their proposed fiscal year 2023 omnibus appropriations bill, including more than $2.8 billion in funding increases for core federal early learning and care programs. Notably, Congress included $8 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG). This represents a 30% increase over the fiscal year 2022 funding level, or $1.85 billion in additional program funding.
The Early Care and Education Consortium (ECEC) applauds the leadership of Senate and House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee Chairs Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), and Ranking Members Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Tom Cole (R-OK), as well as Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Ranking Member Richard Burr (R-NC), for their commitment to children and families, and dedication to securing this critical funding.
During the past two years, the pandemic made clear that there is a direct link between child care and the workforce. Child care providers, teachers, and staff made it possible for parents to go to work, with their children in a safe and nurturing environment. At the same time, the pandemic also exposed how underfunded the child care system is, leaving families without access to care and providers without critical resources. By providing a large increase in federal funding, lawmakers have taken a key step to ensure that existing gaps in the program will be addressed.
The clear bipartisan support for CCDBG reinforces that the program, if robustly funded, is the best way to expand access to high-quality child care and provide critical support the nation’s providers and families. We look forward to working with lawmakers on continued improvements to the program to address the needs of working parents.
In addition to CCDBG funding, Congress appropriated $11.996 billion for Head Start and Early Head Start, a $960 million increase over FY22. Included in this funding is a much needed cost-of-living adjustment for Head Start staff and additional quality improvement funding, which programs can use to recruit and retain staff, among other uses. Congress also appropriated $315 million for the Preschool Development Grant program, an increase of $25 million; $420 million for IDEA Part B Preschool Grants, an increase of $10.4 million; and $540 million for IDEA Part C Grants for Infants and Toddlers, an increase of $43.7 million.
ECEC is grateful to the longstanding child care champions on Capitol Hill for their tireless work to get this across the finish line. This year, a record number of “Dear Colleague” letters in support of early learning and care programs were led by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
We now urge the House and Senate to act quickly to pass this important measure before Friday’s funding deadline.
About ECEC: The Early Care and Education Consortium (ECEC) is a non-profit alliance of the leading multi-state/multi-site child care providers, key state child care associations, and premier educational service providers, representing nearly 7,000 programs in 48 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and select international locations. Our members serve as the unified collective voice for providers of high-quality programs and services that support families and children from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. We are advocates for strong federal and state policies that bring quality to scale.
SOURCE Early Care and Education Consortium (ECEC)