After Bipartisan Promise of Doubling Child Care Funding, Congress Must Seal the Deal

On February 9th Congress passed a continuing resolution (CR) that included a bipartisan budget deal to keep the government funded through March 23, 2018. The bill also allowed appropriators to incorporate new, higher, spending caps into a FY2018 Omnibus spending bill, that includes an unprecedented $5.8 billion in funding over two years for the Child Care and Development Block Grant program (CCDBG). Unfortunately, as the deadline quickly approached, recent disagreement among appropriators around policy riders has put the Omnibus budget negotiations on hold.

When heightened partisanship colors every facet of activity on Capitol Hill, it is no small feat for Senate Majority Leader McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Schumer to come to agreement on a budget deal. Following a hearing this week in the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary & Secondary Education on the importance of high-quality child care, Senior White House advisor Ivanka Trump tweeted her endorsement of the budget deal to double CCDBG funding, which would equip states to address their child care needs. With the March 23rd deadline fast approaching, we are hopeful that members on both sides of the aisle can find a resolution that protects this meaningful and long overdue boost in funding increase access to high-quality child care. In a sign-on letter to Congress led by the National Women’s Law Center, FFYF joined dozens of other national to convey the collective sense of urgency that Congress keeps its commitment to increase CCDBG funding.

CCDBG was last reauthorized in 2014 by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote and included updates to raise the bar on quality through improved health and safety. Through subsidies to states, CCDBG serves 1.4 million children annually, and allows parents to work while their children attend child care that promotes learning and healthy development. The $5.8 billion increase in spending for CCDBG would equip states to implement the new regulations and help to ensure children benefit from high-quality early learning and care.