FY24 Wrap-Up… And on to FY25: Child Care Funding News

April 03, 2024

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On March 23, 2024, Congress approved a FY24 appropriations package, ending a particularly long and turbulent federal funding cycle.  

Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) applauds this hard-fought bipartisan deal aimed at protecting and prioritizing child care funding for families, children and communities across the country. This package builds on recent historic progress to lower child care costs for families and improve access to the high-quality care they need. 

U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, issued a statement celebrating the $1 billion increase in funding for child care and early learning programs.  

With tight budget caps and threats of harmful cuts this fiscal year, we were pleased to see the strong bipartisan support that was necessary to prioritize child care and early learning programs. The final government funding package includes over $21 billion for child care and early learning programs, including: 

  •  $8.7 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), a $725 million increase from FY23 
  • $12.3 billion for Head Start and Early Head Start, a $275 million increase from FY23 
  • $315 million for the Preschool Development Grant Birth-5 (PDG B-5), level funding from FY23 
  • $75 million for Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS), level funding from FY23  
  • $420 million for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B Preschool Grants, level funding from FY23 
  • $540 million for IDEA Part C Grants for Infants and Toddlers, level funding from FY23 

The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) released a factsheet with estimated state distributions of the increased CCDBG funding. 

Sustained annual increases in child care and early learning are critical to tackling the child care crisis and helping to ensure more families can find and afford the quality, affordable child care and early childhood education options they need. Despite these essential increases, families across the country are still struggling to access and afford child care, and programs are still struggling to remain in business. With the FY25 appropriations process just beginning, we must ensure our next federal budget continues to prioritize child care and build on these hard-won increases.   

FY25 President’s Budget 

Earlier this month, President Biden released his FY25 budget. The president’s budget is a visionary plan proposing government spending for the upcoming fiscal year and beyond, but it is not legislation. Congress considers it and then drafts and enacts funding legislation.  

The president’s FY25 budget was released before the final numbers were agreed to for FY24. This means that in some cases FY24 funding increases exceed the president’s proposed funding for FY25.  

For child care and early learning programs, President Biden proposed: 

  • $8.5 billion for CCDBG, a $500 million increase from FY23 
  • $12.5 billion for Head Start and Early Head Start, a $544 million increase from FY23 
  • $250 million for PDG B-5, a $65 million decrease from FY23 

The president’s budget also includes a new policy proposal to expand access to high-quality child care to more than 16 million young children. The proposed budget allocates $14.9 billion in mandatory funding for this program in FY25, and a total of $600 billion over 10 years. While this policy change is unlikely to move forward in Congress, it is indicative of the administration’s support for child care and early learning.   

What’s Next? 

While the president’s budget proposes modest increases in annual discretionary funding, we know that the child care system needs more robust investment to reach families and sustain and grow the child care supply. As congressional leadership starts to develop the funding legislation for FY25, CCAoA and other national partners are requesting an additional $4.3 billion for CCDBG, for a total of at least $12.4 billion, to continue and build upon past bipartisan investments to ensure more children and families receive access to the high-quality child care they need.  

 

Make your voice heard by contacting your lawmakers and asking them to increase funding for CCDBG and other early learning programs in FY25!

 

Topics: Policy & Advocacy

Christina Koch

Written by Christina Koch

Christina Koch is currently the Federal Policy Analyst at Child Care Aware of America. Her background is in federal and state education policy and she also has experience providing direct social services to children and families. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Communication from American University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, where she was awarded the Julee Kryder-Coe Award for Advocacy and Social Action. She is originally from Cape Cod, Massachusetts.