NAEYC CHILDREN’S CHAMPIONS UPDATE
February 17, 2012
President’s Budget Request Emphasizes Early Childhood Investments
This week, the President released his budget request for fiscal year 2013 (October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2013). In a tough budget environment with a focus on reducing the deficit, the President’s budget emphasizes the need for additional investments in early childhood and other education programs. The Administration’s request in the area of education shows a strong focus on competitive grants and system quality in each area of the early childhood through higher education continuum. Reminder: This is a proposal that begins the long funding process for fiscal year 2013. Next, Congress takes up the Budget Resolution, a blueprint for spending which is not sent to the President for signing/veto, and then moves to appropriations in late spring.
Highlights of the President’s budget request:
Child Care & Development Block Grant – A total increase of $825 million over current funding levels; $500 million of which would be in the mandatory side and $325 million of which would be in the discretionary side. Of the $325 million, $300 million is designated for quality improvements in addition to the quality set aside in the base grant program.
Head Start/Early Head Start – $85 million increase, of which $40 million (over two years) is devoted to transition needs related to re-competition and $45 million of which is for cost of living adjustments.
Race to the Top/Early Learning Challenge Fund – An undefined “portion” of the $850 million proposed for Race to the Top (an increase of $301 million over the 2012 level) would be designated for the Early Learning Challenge Fund.
Title I – Same as last year’s appropriation level.
Literacy – The budget establishes a new $186.9 million “Effective Teacher and Learning: Literacy” competitive grant program to help states strengthen their literacy programs. The former “Striving Readers” and Ready To Learn TV programs would be dissolved and their funds would be used for this program. There is no indication of how much would be used for early childhood ages.
Investing in Innovation – $150 million.
IDEA Part C – $462.7 million, an increase of $20 million over the 2012 level.
IDEA Section 619 Preschool – Frozen at last year’s appropriated level.
Part B state grants – Frozen at last year’s appropriated level.
21st Century Community Learning Centers after school – Same as last year’s appropriated level.
Promise Neighborhoods – $100 million, an increase of $40.1 million over 2012.
CAMPIS – Frozen at last year’s appropriation level of $16 million.
Military Child Care/Youth programs – $100 million increase.
Child and dependent care tax credit – The proposal would expand the tax credit that can be used to help cover part of a family’s child care expenses. Families who earn up to $75,000 would be eligible for a tax credit of 35% of qualified child care expenses (up to $3,000 for one child; $6,000 for two or more children). Families who earn between $15,000 and $103,000 would see an increase in their credit.