Date Issued: February 3, 2015
Statement by NAEYC Executive Director Rhian Evans Allvin on the Release of the President's
FY 2016 Budget
The President released his budget proposal for the next fiscal year. It clearly reflects the vision he articulated in his State of the Union last month. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is thrilled to see that this budget places children and families first and will allow millions more young children to access the high quality early care and learning settings while helping parents work.
NAEYC is the largest membership organization working on behalf of young children. NAEYC promotes high quality learning for all children, birth through 8, by connecting practice, policy and research. Each day, we see the difference that quality early care and learning makes for young children, not just in improved literacy skills and higher graduation rates, but across all areas of health and development. We know that parents with access to reliable, high quality care are more likely to remain in the workforce and achieve economic stability. We know that children in poverty need access to high quality early childhood experiences with experienced teachers in order to help eliminate the achievement gap. We know that early learning does not end when children go to school and that early elementary programs are key to children's continued learning success. We know, that across the country, investments in early learning from birth to third grade have bipartisan support.
The President's budget reflects this knowledge. It starts with an important call to eliminate the "sequestration" rules that have severely limited our nation's ability to invest in ourselves. The sequester, and its pressure on programs that fund child care, home visiting, preschool, special education and other supports for our most disadvantaged children and families at the state and local level, has left thousands of young children without a safe and secure place to spend their days.
Beyond ending sequestration, the President has taken an enormous step towards improving access to early care and learning programs. His budget recognizes that quality child care is expensive, but is a necessary cost for most families. Increased investments in child care and Head Start, as well as expansion of child care tax credits, preschool grants and home visiting will ensure that millions of children and families have access to the early care and learning opportunities they need, specifically:
- Investments in the Child Care and Development Block Grant to increase quality ($266 million increase), foster innovation ($100 million) and help more than a million low-income working families pay for child care for their infants and toddlers (nearly $3.7 billion increase in mandatory funding).
- Growth in Head Start and Early Head Start ($1.5 billion increase), including expansion of the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships and promoting full-school day and year programs.
- New investments in early intervention and identification programs ($115 million increase) to help families access interventions as early as possible.
- Expansion of Preschool Development Grants ($500 million increase) to help states provide new high quality preschool programs in areas with unmet needs.
- Expansion of home visiting programs.
- Begins investments in universal preschool for low and moderate income families with four-year-olds through a $1.3 billion increase in the tobacco tax.
Every day, millions of children walk through the doors of child care centers, pre-kindergarten programs, Head Start and before- and after-school programs. They are there for a variety of reasons—so their parents can work, to get a head start on their A,B,Cs, to play fun games and explore, to catch up on their homework. The President's proposal to end sequestration and invest in high quality early care and education demonstrates the vital importance that these experiences have for children, their families, and for the nation.
NAEYC looks forward to working with the President and Congress to make these investments real. We know what matters for young children, and we cannot continue to make them wait.