Congresswomen Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Marcia Fudge (D-OH) recently drafted a “Dear Colleague” letter that seeks increased investment in FY 2017 for Federal programs that support child care and early education with the intention of helping working families. Specifically, Congresswomen Clark and Fudge are matching President Obama’s priorities for the following programs:
- Funding the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) at $3 billion, which is an increase of $200 million from FY 2016. The new funds will assist states in complying with the new requirements under the CCDBG law of 2014.
- Funding Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (Preschool Grants) at $403.2 million. Funds from this program help an estimate 753,000 young children prepare for school.
- Funding Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (Grants for Infants and Toddlers) at $503.6 million, which represents a $45 million increase from the current fiscal year. This program supports roughly 352,000 children per year.
Representative's Clark and Fudge will be seeking co-sponsors to until mid-March. You can read the full letter, along with a note from staff, below.
Child Care Aware® of America strongly encourages you to contact your House member and ask for them to sign the following letter.
SUPPORT EARLY EDUCATION AND WORKING FAMILIES
From: The Honorable Katherine M. Clark
Sent By: Geoff Browning
Please join us in writing to House Appropriators in support of the President’s requested FY17 funding levels for programs that are absolutely critical to the well-being of America’s young children, women, and working families.
Early education and intervention yield a lifetime of positive benefits—not just for our youngest learners, but also for our nation’s economy as a whole. These programs provide an outsized return to the American taxpayer, both supporting the economic competitiveness of future generations and allowing each child an equal opportunity to succeed.
Access to quality child care is a basic element of economic fairness, especially for working women. Far too often, hardworking American parents are forced to choose between ensuring their child’s healthy development and making basic ends meet.
Our letter ensures high-impact federal investments in both of these areas remain intact.
Specifically, we call for the following:
- Funding the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) at the President’s requested FY17 level of $3.0 billion, an increase of $200 million over FY16. During the last Congress, CCDBG was reauthorized with strong bipartisan support for the first time since 1996. The new law includes provisions designed to ensure the health and safety of children in child care settings and make child care assistance more accessible to low-income families. The President’s Budget request will help states implement policies required by the new law. Millions of American families count child care as the highest (or second highest) single cost they face. CCDBG funds leverage the purchasing power of these working families—without this program, millions of American parents would simply be unable to contribute to our nation’s economic prosperity.
- Funding Grants for Infants and Families (Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) at the President’s requested FY17 level of $503.6 million, an increase of $45 million over FY16. A simple toddler hearing test costs $10-$50—a missed or late hearing impairment diagnosis costs a lifetime of diminished communication skills. This program supports early intervention and screening where it counts, when it counts, for 352,000 children per year.
- Funding Preschool Grants (Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) at the President’s requested FY17 level of $403.2 million, an increase of $35 million over FY16. These funds leverage state investment to ensure 753,000 young children (ages 3-5) with disabilities enter school ready to succeed.
Together, these programs represent less than 0.09% of the federal budget. We hope you will join us in doing what is the right thing for American working women, families, and young learners, as well as our nation’s economic footing in the increasingly competitive global marketplace.
Should you have any questions or wish to join the letter, please contact Geoff Browning (Rep. Clark) at email@example.com or Clifton Williams (Rep. Fudge) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
KATHERINE CLARK MARCIA FUDGE
Member of Congress Member of Congress
March 1, 2016
Dear Chairman Rogers, Ranking Member Lowey, Chairman Kingston, and Ranking Member DeLauro:
As you consider Fiscal Year 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations legislation, we urge you to include the following high-impact investments in early education, early intervention, and quality child care:
- $3.0B in FY17 funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), consistent with the President’s FY17 budget request. Child care remains one of the highest costs faced by American families, and as a result, far too many parents must choose between the healthy development of their children and making basic ends meet. These high-impact federal funds leverage the individual purchasing power of American families, and without them, millions of working parents will be unable to contribute to our nation’s economic prosperity. Every month, CCDBG funding provides over 850,000 American families with access to quality, affordable child care, impacting over 1.4 million American children. During the last Congress, CCDBG was reauthorized with strong bipartisan support for the first time since 1996. The new law includes provisions designed to ensure the health and safety of children in child care settings, and make child care assistance more accessible to low-income families. However, implementing these important reforms will demand new resources to enable states to meet the new requirements without cutting child care assistance to children—already, CCDBG serves 364,000 fewer children per month than it did in 2006.
- $503.6M in FY17 funding for Grants for Infants and Families under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, consistent with the President’s FY17 budget request. A simple child hearing test costs $10-$50. A missed or late hearing impairment diagnosis costs a lifetime of diminished communication skills. This program allows states to provide early intervention and screening for 352,000 American children per year. Renowned economists, including Nobel Laureate James Heckman, have demonstrated high-quality early education can produce from $7 to $16 in benefits for every $1 spent. This substantial return on investment is derived largely from long-term savings associated with a reduced need for special education, improved health outcomes, higher rates of high school and college graduation, decreased dependence on welfare programs, and increased workforce productivity of children who receive a high-quality early education.
- $403.2M in FY17 funding for Preschool Grants under Part B Section 619 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, consistent with the President’s FY17 budget request. These funds leverage significant nonfederal investment to ensure 753,000 children with disabilities aged 3-5 enter school ready to succeed. As stated above, research has demonstrated early childhood education is an effective strategy for improving the developmental outcomes and long-term success of children, especially low-income children. This program is a critical part of that effort.
Together, these programs represent less than 0.09% of the entire federal budget, but they have an outsized impact on the economic competitiveness of future generations. They also provide a strong, continuing return to the American taxpayer by both ensuring the sustained prosperity of our nation as a whole and helping families succeed.
We hope you will fully support these investments, which are critical to American working women, families, and young learners.