With all the discord in Washington right now, there is one subject that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle seem to agree on: funding for early childhood education learning programs.
Just released, the new bipartisan bills detailing the fiscal spending for 2020 include over $1 billion in funding for early childhood learning and care, including major increases to several key programs. Thanks to overwhelming bipartisan support, all of the programs were able to receive robust increases. The budgets for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and Head Start programs are each increasing by $550 million above fiscal year 2019 (FY2019). Preschool Development Grants will increase by $25 million above FY2019, and the IDEA Grants to States will increase by a whopping $400 million above FY2019.
“These crucial investments in our nation’s federal early learning programs represent a major bipartisan victory for children living in poverty and their families,” said Sarah Rittling, executive director of the First Five Years Fund, a bipartisan organization that advocates for affordable, comprehensive, high-quality early childhood care and education. “Federal early childhood education programs allow states and communities to provide low-income children with high-quality learning and development opportunities that might otherwise be out of reach, and we are grateful for the bipartisan leaders on Capitol Hill who continue to prioritize these investments.”
The latest polls show overwhelming bipartisan support among the public for programs that support early childhood care and learning, with two-thirds of Americans agreeing we need to do more to ensure children begin school strong. Republicans, Independents and Democrats all support proposals that will help more families access high-quality early learning and care opportunities.