Senate committee approves increased investment in our country’s child care and early learning system
ARLINGTON, VA, July 27, 2023 – The U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations today approved, with bipartisan support, their proposed Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations bill, including a $1 billion increase for early learning programs. This additional funding would support the Child Care and Development Block Grant, Head Start, and other early learning programs. These investments would improve affordability and access to child care for families and advance compensation and supports for child care providers.
Child Care Aware of America (CCAoA) applauds this proposed legislation aimed at protecting and prioritizing child care funding and appreciates the leadership of Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) and Vice Chair Susan Collins (R-ME). According to recent CCAoA findings, for a vast majority of this country’s families, good quality child care is neither affordable nor accessible.
“Sustained, permanent increases in funding for our country’s child care system is critical and this proposal demonstrates the Senate’s commitment to child care and early education,” shares CCAoA CEO, Susan Gale Perry. “We urge Congress to consider the Senate numbers as the floor for negotiations moving forward, and increase funding to continue to build a child care system that helps families, child care providers, businesses and our economy to succeed. Child care is a labor-intensive business that relies mainly on parents’ ability to pay. Early childhood educators earn an average $13.60 an hour which adds up to just under $30,000 per year often without benefits. The bottom line is that parents can’t afford to pay, teachers can’t afford to stay, and businesses and our economy pays the price in lost productivity and fewer adults in the workforce.”
Child-care and early education focused funding in this proposed legislation includes:
- $700 million increase for the Child Care and Development Block Grant
- $275 million increase to Head start and Early Head Start
- $20 million increase to Special Education Part C Grants for Infants and Families
- $5 million increase to the Child Care Access Means Parents in School program