Bipartisan Congressional Budget Deal Includes Historic Child Care Funding Increase for U.S. Kids, Leaves Other Children Out
The deal doubles funding for the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program and reauthorizes MIECHV, reduces international assistance funding
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (February 9, 2018)— The budget approved by Congress early this morning invests significantly in American early childhood education and child care programs as well as disaster aid, but fails to do the same for international child development programs.
The bipartisan agreement raises the budget caps, promises to double funding to $5.8 billion for the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program, and reauthorizes the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program for five years. Congress has never before doubled funding for CCDBG, which began in 1996. Today’s deal will ensure approximately 230,000 more low-income American kids will receive access to high-quality child care programs.
"This deal is bipartisan and historic in its investment in child care, which is an essential aspect of our nation’s economy and allows parents to participate in the workforce," said Kris Perry, president of Save the Children Action Network. "Providing families with access to affordable quality care gives both parents and kids the opportunity to reach their full potential."
While American children programs received funding in the deal, international aid was cut.
"Given the unprecedented number of conflicts and complex crises which are having a devastating impact on children around the world – from Syria to Somalia to Bangladesh – we’re concerned that the cuts to lifesaving assistance have the potential to put children’s lives at risk globally," said Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children. "We look forward to working with Congress in securing $57.4 billion for State and Foreign Operations in the final fiscal year 2018 bill to ensure that America continues its strong global leadership for children when they’re at their most vulnerable."
The deal reauthorizes funding for MIECHV, a crucial home visiting program that serves approximately 160,000 American families across the country, for five years. MIECHV was due to be reauthorized in September 2017.
"MIECHV was long overdue to be reauthorized," said Perry. "This is a huge victory for working families across the country who rely on home visiting services to help prepare their children for school."
In addition, the deal includes $89.3 billion in emergency supplemental funds, including $23.5 billion for the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund, the primary funding source for immediate disaster relief, and $650 million for Head Start construction and related costs for Head Start centers damaged by the hurricanes or wildfires, and related services for children and families.
"We are pleased to see inclusion of disaster response funding in this agreement, which will help children and families continue to recover from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, as well as the California wildfires," said Mark Shriver, Senior Vice President of U.S. Programs and Advocacy at Save the Children. "This investment will help fund programs like Head Start, which gives low-income kids an equal opportunity to succeed in school and life. However, this funding level doesn’t cover the need in these communities. We are hopeful that Congress will consider another aid package to ensure that all the necessary supports are in place to address the needs of children and families following disasters."
A smaller, but still impactful provision of the budget deal is the inclusion of the Social Impact Partnerships to Pay for Results Act. This agreement will allow private investments to fund the up-front costs of early education programs that work without risking taxpayer dollars if the programs don’t deliver results. This idea, also known as Pay for Success or Social Impact Bonds, has been successfully implemented in Utah and Chicago, and SCAN has been a strong advocate for this legislation for the last several years.
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