On Monday evening, Congress reached agreement on federal spending through a 2014 Omnibus Appropriations bill. The budget agreement brought exciting news for early childhood, and now we need advocates like you to take action and tell Congress to approve the budget deal.
The Congressional deal could increase funding for early childhood programs by $1.5 billion over post-sequestration levels. It would be a welcome victory – but only if the House and Senate approve the deal. The bill includes significant increases in funding for early education, despite a very austere budget context.
Please take one minute to send an email to your elected officials and let them know you support early learning.
Phone calls help too. As the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) explains in a policy update, you should ask your representatives to “vote YES on the omnibus appropriations bill. Your calls are important to make sure that all members of Congress support the passage of the bill.”
NAEYC points to the following funding highlights and post-sequestration increases:
- $1.025 billion increase for Head Start, including:
- $400 million for Head Start
- $100 million for COLA
- $25 million for redesignation activities
- $500 million to expand Early Head Start and for new discretionary Early Head Start /Child Care Partnership grants
- $154 million increase for the Child Care & Development Block Grant
- $250 million for the preschool development grants
- $158 million total to maintain the Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grants
- $18 million increase for Part C early intervention grants
- $194 million increase for WIC
In addition to allocating funds, the bill calls on the U.S. Department of Education to collect and share the best research and practices on improving public early learning settings through “planning, design, financing, construction, improvement, operation, and maintenance of safe, healthy, high-performance” facilities.
For more information, visit our partners NAEYC and National Women’s Law Center. Follow us on twitter @EarlyEd4All for additional federal updates as they develop.
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