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

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, more than 200,000 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!  

News You Can Use

October 2017: Starting Lines and Deadlines 

The new federal fiscal year started on October 1 – but what happened with funding decisions on child care and Head Start? Congress moved to extend the deadline – this is called a Continuing Resolution. They knew they were not going to finish the complex decisions of the FY18 budget by the September 30 deadline, and rather than allow the government to shut down, they agreed to keep working toward a new deadline of December 8.

The House and Senate Appropriations Committee worked on the details, and unfortunately their choices for the Child Care and Development Block Grant and Head Start are inadequate, and if these were to be the final decision it would be harmful to family child care and to millions of families and children.

Congress also had a September 30 deadline to renew the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the federally-funded early childhood home visiting program called Maternal and Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV). Unfortunately, they did not meet this deadline. Will families be scrambling now? What will the states do? What are the implications for state budgets without these crucial federal resources? NAFCC joins our coalition colleagues in supporting Congressional action to extend these services. 

Read NAFCC's summary of action for child care.

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