Tonight, Senator Mikulski and Rep. Hal Rogers announced a spending agreement for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2015. See the excerpt from the official summary released by the appropriators below for early childhood programs:
"The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee today released highlights of the fiscal year 2015 omnibus appropriations bill, “Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015,” that totals $1.014 trillion in discretionary spending in compliance with the bipartisan Murray-Ryan budget agreement. The bill funds the government through
September 30, 2015.
In addition, it includes: $5.4 billion of emergency funding to prepare for and respond to the Ebola outbreak; $73.7 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations; and $6.5 billion of disaster aid."
"Supports Continued Investment in High-Quality Early Childhood Care and Education
High-quality early childhood care and education has been proven to have positive, lasting effects for children and families. It also supports the nation's long-term economic security by preparing our next generation of workers, entrepreneurs and business leaders. This bill supports the key federal investments in early childhood care and education, for children and their families from before birth through age five, including:
Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG)—The bill includes $2.435 billion, a $75 million increase, for the CCDBG. In November, Congress overwhelmingly passed the CCDBG Act of 2014, the first reauthorization of the program since 1996. This reauthorization included key updates and reforms, including requiring states to strengthen health and safety standards. Improving the quality of child care programs while maintaining working families’ access to quality child care options will require significantly more resources, but the increase in funding for the CCDBG is an important step in helping states implement these key reforms and support working families’ access to quality, affordable child care.
Head Start—The bill includes $8.598 billion for Head Start, maintaining support for key investments in Head Start and Early Head Start, including Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships, made last year.
Preschool Development Grants—The agreement provides $250 million to continue support for Preschool Development Grants. The Departments of Education and Health and Human Services (HHS) awards $250 million to states through grants designed to help states initiate or implement high-quality public preschool programs for low- and moderate-income families. The funding in this bill will support the second year of what is expected to be four year awards. Research is clear that the benefits of high-quality early childhood education programs exceed costs by varying but significant amounts."