House Appropriations Bill Includes Major Increases in Early Education Funding, Protects Funding to Key Afterschool Program

Washington, D.C. (May 8, 2019) – The House Appropriations Committee late this afternoon approved a bill for fiscal year 2020 that provides major increases in funding for many early childhood education programs, including Head Start and the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program.

“This vote to increase funding for early childhood programs by $4 billion shows the strong Congressional support for early education, which is one of the best ways to lift kids and families out of poverty,” said Mark Shriver, CEO of Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) and Senior Vice President of U.S. Programs & Advocacy for Save the Children.

The House Appropriations Committee bill includes fiscal year 2020 funding levels of $7.7 billion for CCDBG, an increase of $2.4 billion over fiscal year 2019; $11.6 billion for Head Start, including Early Head Start, an increase of $1.5 billion over fiscal year 2019; and $350 million for Preschool Development Grants, an increase of $100 million over fiscal year 2019.

The bill also protects and increases funding to $1.3 billion for 21st Century Community Learning Centers, a vital afterschool program, which was proposed for elimination in the president’s fiscal year 2020 budget request earlier this year. 

“I am pleased that the Appropriations Committee rejected the president’s budget request, which included harmful cuts to programs that impact children,” Shriver said. “While this bill is a huge step in the right direction, we have a long way to go to ensure that all kids, regardless of where they live, have an equal opportunity to succeed.”

The full House must still vote on the appropriations bill, and the Senate has not yet released its proposed funding levels. In order for the increases to be possible, Congress must first increase the current budget caps to avoid across-the-board cuts in domestic and international funding.

“If the budget caps aren’t raised, we could see drastic cuts to vital programs that help kids,” Shriver said. “This would have a devastating impact on millions of kids here at home and around the world.”

Shriver noted that Save the Children and SCAN would continue working with Republicans and Democrats in Congress to ensure high-quality early learning and afterschool programs receive robust funding in the final budget.

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