February 5, 2008
PRESIDENT SUBMITS BUDGET REQUEST WITH 200,000 FEWER CHILDREN RECEIVING CHILD CARE ASSISTANCE – Other Important Programs Cut or Frozen
Yesterday, 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.
In a press release on the budget request, NAEYC Executive Director Mark Ginsberg stated “For too many young children, this budget proposal shuts the door on opportunities for safe, high-quality child care and other early learning programs.” NAEYC is asking Congress to reject this budget request and to make investments in high quality early childhood education a national budget priority.
Under the Administration’s 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 meet inflation and would not provide resources for new requirements in the reauthorized Head Start Act. Fiscal Year 2008 appropriations cut Head Start by $11 million, putting the program further behind.
- 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 in 2009, in addition to those thousands of children who lost child care assistance from years of flat funding.
- Special education funds that help infants, toddlers and preschoolers with disabilities receive early intervention services would be frozen yet again.
- 21st Century Community Learning Center afterschool would be cut by $281 million.
- Even Start family literacy would be eliminated and other teacher quality and early literacy programs would be frozen or cut.
- CAMPIS (Child Care Access Means Parents In School) funding would be frozen.
NAEYC is urging Congress to –
- 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;
- Oppose a cut to the 21st Century Community Learning afterschool funding level.
- Increase funding for early childhood special education programs and services for preschoolers, infants and toddlers.
- Restore Even Start family literacy to fiscal year 2007 levels.
- Increase teacher quality programs in No Child Left Behind and the Higher Education Act.*
WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW
Email your members of Congress and let them know that they must reject this budget request.
- Children deserve high quality early childhood education and providers deserve the resources to provide quality experiences and keep programs affordable for families.
- Our young children and their early education deserve to be the nation’s highest priority – both for the children, and because of the social and fiscal benefits to the nation as a whole.
You can find your members of Congress and email them by going here.