Senate Appropriations Bill Maintains Early Childhood Education Funding, Restores Full Funding to Key Afterschool Program

Media Contact: Brendan Daly, [email protected], (202) 794-1580

Washington, D.C. (September 7, 2017) – The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriations bill for fiscal year 2018, which provides level-funding for many early childhood education programs, including Head Start.

The bill funds Head Start at $9.25 billion and the Child Care and Development Block Grant at $2.86 billion, both level from fiscal year 2017 funding levels. Further, the bill restores all of the funding for 21st Century Community Learning Centers, which was eliminated in the president’s fiscal year 2018 budget request earlier this year. In July, the House Appropriations Committee restored most of the funding but still cut $191 million from the program, which means 192,000 children could miss out on the afterschool program. 

Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) advocates sent nearly 35,000 messages to members of Congress this summer urging them to fully fund the 21st Century afterschool program.

“These investments will make a tremendous impact in the lives of kids and families living in poverty across the country,” said Mark Shriver, president of SCAN and Senior Vice President, U.S. Programs & Advocacy, of Save the Children. “I am pleased that the Appropriations Committee rejected the president’s budget request, which included harmful cuts to programs that impact children. While this bill is a step in the right direction and invests in vital programs like Head Start and 21st Century Community Learning Centers, much more needs to be done to ensure all kids, regardless of where they were born, have an equal opportunity to succeed.

“Save the Children and SCAN look forward to continuing working with Republicans and Democrats in Congress to ensure these and other quality early learning and after-school programs receive robust funding in the final budget.”


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. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.