Wednesday, Congress will begin voting on a spending bill that includes investments in early childhood education.
Late Monday night, Senate Appropriations Chair Senator Barbara Mikulski and House Appropriations Chair Representative Hal Rogers announced an agreement on a spending bill that will fund the government through September 30, 2014. The spending bill consolidates the 12 appropriations bills necessary to fund the government each year into one “Omnibus” spending bill.
The Omnibus spending bill would set spending for the rest of Fiscal Year 2014 at $1.012 trillion, which allows for some relief of the sequester, which had set spending at $967 billion for the year, but falls short of the $1.058 billion proposed by the Senate and the Administration.
Some of the highlights of the bill’s investment in children and families include:
- $2.36 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, which is an increase of $154 million over the FY2013 levels.
- $8.6 billion for Head Start, which is an increase of $1.025 billion over the FY2013 level.
- $500 million from the above $8.6 million will be put towards expanding access to Early Head Start, including the development of Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership grants to help improve the quality in child care programs.
- $250 million for Race to the Top- Preschool Development Grants to help states develop, enhance, or expand quality preschool programs for children 4 years old or older from low-income families.
Leaders of both parties in Congress and the Administration support this Omnibus spending bill, sending a clear signal there is a federal commitment to invest in early childhood education.
Although there is still work to do, join us as we tweet thanks to those Congressional members who supported children and families through this budget process.
— Child Care Aware USA (@USAChildCare) January 14, 2014
- Senator Tom Harkin @SenatorHarkin Chair of Senate Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services Subcommittee
- Senator Barbara Mikulski @SenatorBarb Chair of Senate Appropriations Committee
- Congressman Hal Rogers @RepHalRogers Chair of House Appropriations Committee
- Senator Jerry Moran @JerryMoran Ranking Member, Senate Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services (Labor HHS) Subcommittee
- Senator Richard Shelby @senShelby Ranking Member, Senate Appropriations Committee
- Congresswoman Nita Lowey @nitalowey Ranking Member, House Appropriations Committee
- Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro @rosadelauro Ranking Member, House Appropriations LaborHHS Subcommittee
- Congressman Jack Kingston @JackKingston Chair, House Appropriations Committee
Bill details on the policy blog: Mikulski and Rogers Unveil Omnibus Spending Bill