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Early Childhood Education Wins in 2014 Appropriations Bill

Forwarded from the Children's Advocacy Alliance:

Yesterday, the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee unveiled the fiscal year 2014 Omnibus Appropriations bill. The bill should be voted upon in the next several days and would offer a significant investment in early childhood education. According to Helen Blank of the National Women's Law Center, the bill includes:

  • An increase of $1.025 billion to Head Start to restore the funding cut by the sequester and provide programs with a cost-of-living increase. Of this increase, $500 million is set aside for new Early Head Start/Child Care Partnerships. Early Head Start partnership funding will be available to every state and programs would compete for the funding within the state.  These grants will  allow new or existing  Early Head Start programs to partner with local child care centers and family child care providers serving low-income infants and toddlers.  Funding will be available to help child care programs meet the Early Head Start standards and for training and technical assistance.
  • The Child Care and Development Block Grant received a $154 million increase.  CCDBG continues to have set-asides for after-school and resource and referral activities, a national toll-free hot-line, quality improvement activities, infant/toddler care, and research.
  • A new initiative for preschool development grants received $250 million in funding.  The funding will be awarded competitively to states to build their capacity to develop, enhance, or expand high-quality preschool programs, including comprehensive services and family engagement, for preschool-age children from families at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.  States can subgrant funds to local educational agencies and other early learning providers, such as Head Start programs and licensed child care providers, or a consortia of providers, for preschool programs.  Local educational agencies that receive subgrant funding must collaborate with early learning providers, and early learning providers that receive subgrant funding must collaborate with local educational agencies.  Up to 3 percent of the funding for this early care and education initiative can be used for technical assistance, evaluation, and other national activities.  The program will be jointly administered by the Secretary of Education and the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

This bill is a testament to all the hard work you have done as advocates and once passed will provide substantial improvements in early childhood education nationally and within Nevada. As the bill is still relatively new, we will work to keep you updated on any additional information and any upcoming actions needed to get this bill passed.

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