Budget Action for Child Care and Early Learning

The federal government plays a crucial role in setting policy and investments for early care and education. States also make significant budget and policy choices that matter to family child care providers.

These decisions are not just about budgets lines and charts. This is about real children and families, and this is about you. This is about the work of licensing agencies, subsidy services for working families, and investing in the drive for high-quality child care - and all of this comes together in family child care homes across the country.

We will need to work together to make sure elected officials know the value of child care and early learning and the crucial role of family child care providers in meeting the needs of children and families.

How does the budget process work? 

Knowing how the process works helps us to know when to take action to make a difference for children, families and family child care providers!  Download NAFCC's handy guide to the federal budget process


Partner Resources and Research 

From Child Trends: 

Health insurance improves child well-being 

Early care and education can help young children overcome trauma 

From the Center for Law and Social Policy: 

TANF 101: Block Grant

News You Can Use

July 2017: House Moves Forward with Funding Decisions

In May, the Administration released federal budget proposal for the fiscal year 2018. It calls for cuts to the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and Head Start, and also proposing significant and harmful changes to TANF, SNAP, Medicaid, and more. 

The House Appropriations Committee is moving forward with decisions on funding amounts ot programs. On July 13, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Education – working with a total of about $5 billion less than their total for FY17 – decided on the following: 

  • A $4 million increase over FY17 for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG)
  • A $22 million increase over FY17 for Head Start
  • A decrease of $191 million for 21st Century Community Learning Centers
  • Level funding at $250 million for Preschool Development Grants
  • Elimination of CCAMPIS

While we appreciate the direction of the investments in CCDBG and Head Start, they are inadequate, and overall this is an appropriations bill that will harm millions of families and children if it became the final law and funding levels for FY18. The full House Appropriations Committee plans to vote on this legislation on July 19. The Senate Appropriations Committee has not yet scheduled action or released draft legislation with funding amounts. 

Read NAFCC's summary of the FY2018 budget work

May 2017: Congress and Administration Approve Investments for Fiscal Year 2017 

At long last, the House and Senate agreed on a final package for the federal budget, rolling all of the unfinished business of separate appropriations legislation into one bill called an “omnibus.” The President signed the final legislation into law on May 5, 2017.

Not only was child care not cut – but the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) got an increase of $95 million – which is even more than the Appropriations Committees had approved last summer! This is a big deal considering the budget climate. Advocates worked hard at getting attention in Congress for this. 

Read NAFCC's summary of the final FY17 budget package

Ask Congress to invest in child care! 

An increase of $1.4 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) is crucial for meeting the needs of low-income working families and their children. These investments are also needed for supporting, recognizing, and building the supply of high-quality family child care. Find out more about the ways CCDBG matters to you!

And without that increase, 217,000 children are at risk of losing access to child care subsidies. Find out how many would be lost in your state in this report from our friends at the Center for Law and Social Policy.

If there's going to be an increase in funding for child care in next year’s budget, we have to ask for it! Members of Congress will need to be reminded by all of us!