Congressional Appropriations Bill A Victory for Kids

Congressional Appropriations Bill A Victory for Kids

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Brendan Daly 646.520.7203 (M)

Washington, D.C. (December 18, 2015) — Save the Children and Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) today commended the passage of the Fiscal Year 2016 (FY 16) Omnibus Appropriations bill, which calls for increased investments for children around the world.

The spending bill, passed by the House and the Senate today and expected to be signed into law by President Obama, increases funding for maternal and child health and nutrition while prioritizing early childhood education programs, such as Preschool Development Grants, Head Start and other early learning programs.

“Prioritizing children is the best investment we can make in our communities,” said Mark Shriver, president of SCAN. “Right now, two out of five kids in the U.S. are not enrolled in preschool, which will have long-term effects on their chances of success and opportunity later in life. I would like to thank the chairs and ranking members of the Appropriations Subcommittees on Labor, HHS and State & Foreign Operations for making increased access to high-quality early learning a reality for more kids here at home, as well as more access to health care services for children and mothers around the world.”

“Every child, no matter where they live, deserves the chance to survive and thrive,” said Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children. “Since 1990, overall child mortality has dropped dramatically around the world, from 12 million annual deaths to less than 6 million. We have made great progress, but there is more work to be done. For a small amount of money, we can save millions more lives.”

Shriver and Miles also commended Congress for addressing malnutrition in children under the age of 5 around the world by providing a significant increase in funding for nutrition programs, which is a huge step forward for bolstering U.S. leadership on nutrition globally.

Additionally, Save the Children applauds Congress for not including provisions in the FY16 omnibus that would block the resettlement of Syrians and Iraqis seeking refuge in the United States. This legislation includes nearly $1 billion above fiscal 2015 levels to support humanitarian assistance for refugees and displaced people around the globe.

Furthermore, the spending bill provides $250 million more than fiscal year 2015 for food assistance to mitigate food emergencies in the Middle East and other food insecure regions such as the Horn of Africa. This additional humanitarian and food assistance funding is urgently needed to prevent large scale food crises in places like Ethiopia and Yemen and to ensure vulnerable children and families fleeing conflict have access to lifesaving assistance.

Highlights of the FY16 budget include:

  • $2.761 billion for the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) so more families have access to affordable child care and states can meet important child care emergency preparedness standards;
  • $9.168 billion for Head Start and Early Head Start to extend the duration of Head Start and expand access to high-quality care for tens of thousands of infants and toddlers;
  • $500 million to renew and expand the Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV), which provides vulnerable children, pregnant women and families with voluntary, high-quality home visiting programs that improve prenatal care and birth outcomes, early childhood health and development, school readiness and parenting practices;
  • $250 million for the Department of Education’s Preschool Development Grants to develop, enhance or expand high-quality preschool programs;
  • $750 million for the Maternal and Child Health account, including $235 million for the GAVI Alliance;
  • $125 million for the Nutrition account in Global Health.

Founded by Save the Children in 2014, Save the Children Action Network is dedicated to mobilizing Americans around a commitment that cannot wait — investing in early childhood now. Save the Children Action Network engages our government, businesses, partner organizations and supporters to take bold action and to hold our elected leaders accountable for the youngest, and too often forgotten, global citizens — our children.

Save the Children gives children in the United States and around the world a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We invest in childhood — every day, in times of crisis and for our future. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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