NAEYC on the President's FY2020 Budget Request
Two weeks ago, NAEYC brought 350 early childhood educators to Capitol Hill to meet with their elected officials about the importance of growing the bipartisan investment in high-quality child care and early learning. Educators talked about the good work states have done to increase access to high-quality child care with the recent historic increase to the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), and requested that Congress raise the budget caps and provide an additional $5 billion to help states build on the progress they've made.
As a leading advocate for high-quality early learning, we are glad to see child care supported in the President's budget and are appreciative of presidential advisor Ivanka Trump’s advocacy for early childhood education. Despite a one-time increase for child care, the proposed budget adversely impacts children, families and educators with the accompanying domestic spending cuts to Medicaid, housing, Pell grants, and child nutrition programs, and the elimination of Preschool Development Grants and teacher education in Title II of the Every Student Succeeds Act. Tying increased dollars to reductions in regulations is also cause for concern, as research is clear that states with more effective regulatory structures have a greater supply of higher quality programs - and that children who attend higher quality programs consistently demonstrate better outcomes.
Now, the budget process turns to Congress, and we encourage the legislature to pick up the baton and expand federal investment in high-quality child care and early learning. Congress should start by lifting the budget caps and continuing to grow the federal commitment to high-quality early childhood education in critical programs such as CCDBG, Head Start and Early Head Start, Preschool Development Grants, teacher education programs, and more, so that our children, families, educators and communities can thrive.
Lauren Hogan is the managing director of policy and professional advancement for NAEYC, in Washington, DC.