President Obama’s Budget a Step Forward for Early Learning

Media Contact: Brendan Daly (202.794.1580)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 9, 2016) — Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) today welcomed the release of President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17) budget, which calls for increased investments that help children. The budget proposal would prioritize high-quality domestic early childhood care and education programs needed to ensure American kids are prepared to succeed in elementary school and beyond.

“This budget is a step forward in our efforts to ensure our government invests in children,” said Mark Shriver, president of SCAN. “We know that high-quality early learning programs are essential in making sure kids ages zero to five are able to thrive. Without this, kids are more likely to be involved in a violent crime, drop out of school and become teen parents. While the levels proposed in the President’s FY17 are a good starting point, Congress must build on the budget proposal to ensure adequate funding levels are maintained for critical early learning and childcare programs.”

The President’s FY17 budget proposal, which includes roughly $19.5 billion for early childhood programs, builds on many of the Administration’s past budget proposals by increasing access to high-quality child care and early education for children from birth to age five. The budget builds on successes in December, when Congress passed a spending bill that included nearly $1 billion in new money for early childhood education and approved the Every Student Succeeds Act, which included critical new investments in early learning.

Highlights of the President’s FY17 budget include:

  • $2.96 billion for the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG), an increase of $200 million over FY16, so more families have access to affordable child care and states can improve child care standards;
  • $9.6 billion for Head Start and Early Head Start, an increase of $434 million over FY16, to extend the duration of Head Start and expand access to high-quality care for tens of thousands of infants and toddlers;
  • $400 million to renew and expand the Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV), which provides vulnerable children, pregnant women and families with voluntary, high-quality home visiting programs that improve prenatal care and birth outcomes, early childhood health and development, school readiness and parenting practices and
  • $350 million for the Department of Education’s Preschool Development Grants to develop, enhance or expand high-quality preschool programs.

# # #

Save the Children gives children in the United States and around the world a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We invest in childhood — every day, in times of crisis and for our future. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Save the Children Action Network is the political voice for kids. We believe that every child deserves the best start in life. That’s why we’re building bipartisan will and voter support to make sure every child in the U.S. has access to high-quality early learning and that no mother or child around the globe dies from a preventable disease or illness. By investing in kids and holding leaders accountable, we are helping kids from birth to age five survive and thrive.