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For Immediate Release:
February 4, 2008
President’s Budget Proposes 200,000 FEWER Children Would Receive Child Care Assistance
Latest Budget Request Leaves Young Children Further Behind
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Today, President Bush released his budget request for fiscal year 2009, which leaves behind thousands of young children who would benefit from high quality early childhood education programs.
“For too many young children, this budget proposal shuts the door on opportunities for safe, high-quality child care and other early learning programs,” said Mark Ginsberg, Ph.D., Executive Director of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). “Literally hundreds of thousands of children are waiting for child care assistance. Many of our country’s poorest children still will be denied the school readiness programs of Early Head Start and Head Start because of an inadequate budget on top of years of flat funding. This is the wrong direction for our children and for our nation.”
Under the proposed budget:
- Head Start, the nation’s model of a comprehensive, standards-based preschool program for the poorest children which underwent a significant set of additional quality requirements last year, would grow by a mere $148 million, which would barely cover inflation but with the new reauthorization requirements and past year’s flat funding results in 13,000 children fewer children in Head Start;
- The Child Care Development Block Grant that provides child care assistance to low income working families, again would be frozen. According to the Administration’s own budget tables released today, 200,000 fewer children would have child care assistance between fiscal years 2007 and 2009, in addition to those thousands of children who lost child care assistance from years of frozen funding.
- Special education funds that help infants, toddlers and preschoolers with disabilities receive early intervention services would be frozen;
- 21st Century Community Learning Center afterschool would be cut by $281 million; and
- Despite a proposed increase to Title I, other programs such as Even Start family literacy would be eliminated and other teacher quality and early literacy programs would be frozen or cut.
NAEYC is urging lawmakers instead proposes a federal budget that would make young children the nation’s priority for its investments:
- Increase the Child Care & Development Block Grant by $874 million, which would restore inflation adjustments not made to the program since 2002.
- Increase funding for Head Start and Early Head Start by $1.072 billion to offset lack of inflation adjustments and start providing a necessary downpayment on the costs of new requirements in the programs
- Increase funding for early childhood special education programs for preschoolers, infants and toddlers.
- Increase Even Start family literacy and other teacher quality grant programs.
Founded in 1926, the National Association for the Education of Young Children has nearly 90,000 members worldwide. The association is the largest and most influential advocate for early care and education in the United States.
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Founded in 1926, the National Association for the Education of Young Children is the largest and most influential advocate for high-quality early care and education in the United States.