Federal Budget Proposal for 2011 Includes Increases for Child Care and Early Learning

From Pennsylvania’s Promise for Children (http://paprom.convio.net/site/PageServer?pagename=index):


On July 29 the U.S. Senate Appropriations committee reported out the FY 2011 Appropriations bill for Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies which includes additional funding for child care and Head Start. If passed by Congress, the additional funding would likely allow states and Head Start grantees to continue serving the additional children and centers funded by the ARRA federal stimulus bill. The bill also includes $300 million for a new Early Learning Challenge Fund.


Highlights include:


  • Child Care—The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act included important investments in child care, allowing states to increase assistance for low-income families and support quality improvement activities. The bill maintains the funding level provided for in the Recovery Act by providing an increase of $1 billion over the fiscal year 2010 level, for a total of $3.1 billion.
  • Head Start—The bill provides $8.2 billion for Head Start, an increase of $990.3 million over the fiscal year 2010 appropriation. This amount will allow Head Start programs to provide comprehensive early childhood development services to 978,000 low-income children, and maintain increases in families served because of Recovery Act funding in fiscal years 2009 and 2010.
  • Early Learning Challenge Fund—The bill includes $300 million for a new Early Learning Challenge Fund that will provide competitive grants to states to raise the bar for early childhood programs. High-quality early learning programs help children develop the cognitive, social, and emotional skills needed to succeed in school and later in life. Yet quality varies greatly across settings, within states, and across the Nation. The Early Learning Challenge Fund will encourage states to coordinate quality improvement activities across early learning settings, including child care, Head Start and pre-kindergarten programs; expand the number of low-income children in high-quality programs; and ensure that more children enter kindergarten ready to succeed.

This is only one of the very first steps in the federal budget process. Go to http://appropriations.senate.gov/news.cfm?method=news.view&id=5ac52a3a-5218-48fa-aa01-9264ca755118 to read the full release.

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