NAEYC's Statement on the President's Budget
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As states implement critical relief dollars to help stabilize our nation's fragile and essential child care system, President Biden last week released his proposal for an FY22 budget that would build on these emergency supports and make historic investments in child care and early learning to create a permanent pathway toward a more equitable, sustainable, and comprehensive early childhood education system. Along with increases in annual funding for child care and Head Start, centerpieces of the proposed budget include big, bold proposals, as outlined in the American Families and Jobs Plans, which would invest:
- $225 billion to increase equitable access to affordable, high-quality child care provided by well-prepared and well-compensated early childhood educators.
- $200 billion to provide high-quality preschool in mixed-delivery settings to all 3- and 4- year-olds by enabling communities and families to choose the settings that work best for them and by ensuring all educators with comparable qualifications will receive compensation commensurate with that of kindergarten teachers.
- $25 billion to help upgrade child care facilities and increase the supply of child care in areas that need it most.
By also prioritizing investments in paid leave, K-12 education, early intervention, free community college, child nutrition programs, child and child care tax credits, Pell grants, scholarships, wraparound supports, broadband access, and more, this budget recognizes the importance of helping children thrive. This ensures that families can afford quality child care that meets their needs and preferences, and it supports early childhood educators across states and settings to be well-prepared and well-compensated for the skilled, valuable, and essential work they do each day.
NAEYC is deeply grateful to the administration and leaders in Congress who have shown staunch support for early childhood education. We now urge Congress to craft and pass legislation that reflects these priorities and financing, and recognizes Americans’ strong bipartisan support for increasing investment in child care and early learning. The science of early learning is as complex for children from birth through age three as it is for children in preschool, and pre-K is part of a continuum of support needed for children from birth through eight. So it will be crucial for Congress to ensure simultaneous investments in mixed-delivery pre-K and child care that support access to quality for infants and toddlers as part of much-needed legislation that provides substantial, sustainable support to help our children, families, communities, and economy recover and thrive.