Federal investments in early childhood education would see some restoration under a budget bill that passed through the U.S. House and Senate and now moves on to President Obama. The omnibus appropriations bill, a bipartisan spending outline for several federal government agencies, would provide much-needed support (roughly a $1.5 billion increase from post-sequestration levels) to a variety of services that support low-income children including a full restoration of cuts made to Head Start by sequestration.
Some of the proposed federal spending for the Child Care & Development Block Grant (a $154 million increase) could help restore funding to Colorado’s Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP), which helps Colorado families cover the high costs of care so they can work towards self-sufficiency while their children learn in safe and stimulating environments.
The federal spending bill would also allow the Education and Health and Human Services departments to jointly administer a new $250 million program for states to develop or expand high-quality preschool programs for 4-year-olds from families at or below 200 percent of the poverty level. These grants are part of the Strong Start for America’s Children proposal. We’re encouraged that federal leaders are making young children a priority.