There is much to mourn this week (this month, this year). We don’t forget Orlando even as we grieve new deaths in Louisiana, Minnesota and Texas. As always in the wake of national grieving, there is fear, and there is love; there are calls for revenge and calls for peace; there is coming together and tearing apart. As early childhood educators, we must remain firm in our commitment to the core beliefs and values found in our code of ethics - values that include a fundamental and abiding respect for and appreciation of diversity in children, families and colleagues. At NAEYC, we believe in a vision in which all young children thrive and learn in a society dedicated to ensuring they reach their full potential. We know you share not only this vision but the belief that it is possible to achieve. For that, we thank you, and we recommit to our work, together.
NOTE: We wish we didn’t have to share this so often, but here are some resources NAEYC has compiled for educators and families about how to talk to young children about disasters, tragedies, and violence they learn about in the media.
We want you to know you all did great work in tough circumstances.
This week, the House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies marked up their FY 2017 appropriations bill, with an increase of $40 million for CCDBG and $141.6 million for Head Start. The spending caps were tighter in the House than they were in the Senate, but the increases you helped win for early learning were bigger. We know we need much more significant investments to deliver on the promise of these programs - but we also know that what you did and what you said mattered:
We asked for…
Child Care and Development Block Grant
An increase of $1.2 billion
An increase of $25 million
An increase of $40 million
Head Start & Early Head Start
An increase of $434 million
An increase of $36 million
An increase of $141.6 million
Preschool Development Grants
An increase of $100 million
Flat funding at $250 million
Flat funding at $250 million
So what's next? It's likely that the House and the Senate will come together to reconcile their differences and create a continuing resolution to keep the government open and funded, while they try to work out an "omnibus" spending bill that covers all the different appropriations bills. We'll keep you posted on what's moving forward and when.
In the meantime, while your elected officials are home in August for recess, it's a great time to reach out, in person or on the phone, so they remember that we are paying attention to their support for early childhood education! You can: (1) remind them that early childhood education is a critical investment; (2) thank them for the increases early childhood education received; and (3) FOR THE SENATE, encourage your Senators to use the House numbers as they move forward. Thank you for all the work you've done so far - and keep it up!
Don't miss these great reads & resources:
Huge shout-out to the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment for the new, comprehensive, thoughtful and deeply useful Early Childhood Workforce Index. Read it all.
You’ve got budget questions? The Children’s Budget 2016 from First Focus has answers. Take a look, offer your thoughts, and be part of the discussion by following #kidsbudget16.
Running a successful early childhood business is hard. This brief from Opportunities Exchange can help.