Congress Approves Historic Increase for Child Care, Boosts Head Start and Other Early Learning Programs for Kids in the U.S.

Media Contact: Allie Wright, [email protected], (202) 794-1823

Washington, D.C. (March 23, 2018) – The omnibus spending bill passed by Congress early this morning includes a near doubling in funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and increases funding for other crucial early childhood education programs, including Head Start and Early Head Start.

“We thank Congress, especially the leadership and members of the Appropriations committees, for investing in high-quality early childhood education programs that will help ensure more low-income children have an equal opportunity to succeed,” said Kris Perry, president of Save the Children Action Network (SCAN).

The bill includes $610 million in new funding for Head Start ($9.86 billion overall) and an historic increase of $2.37 billion for CCDBG ($5.3 billion overall), which would allow 151,000 more children to access child care, according to the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP). Additionally, it increases funding for Promise Neighborhoods by $5 million to $78.3 million, increases funding for 21st Century Community Learning Centers for after-school programs by $20 million to $1.21 billion, and level-funds Preschool Development Grants at $250 million.

“This agreement means that after-school and summer learning programs around the country will stay open for 1.6 million students and families, as well as make programs available for 20,000 more students,” said Mark Shriver, Senior Vice President of U.S. Programs and Advocacy at Save the Children. “These programs are essential in giving all kids, especially those living in poverty, a safe place to go after school and a learning environment during summer months.”

“This victory for children shows that activism works. But there is more work to do,” said Perry. “Despite our country’s investment, far too many children are still missing out on early learning opportunities that help level the playing field those living in poverty. We look forward to working with members of both parties in Congress and the Administration to increase this investment even further.”