The Two Reasons: Money and Legislation
- You need more funding appropriated in the budget for the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG).
- You need the Child Nutrition Reauthorization 2015 legislation regarding the food program to have bipartisan support in favor of Senator Casey's bill.
Why August? Congressional Recess is in August
Big deal, you ask? Well, it is actually a big deal. It is a time that our Senators and Representatives come home to listen to the needs of their constituents, which means you or us! We, as the child care community, need to get their attention and tell them that it is important to "lift the cap" on budget funds and invest in child care and early childhood education.
I have heard many advocates speak at conferences and they will regularly say, while visiting the hill in D.C., to make your voice heard is incredibly important, doing it at home is even more essential. Senators and our local representatives from the house are back from D.C. and it's time to engage and educate them about child care, the impact it's making, the need for them to "lift the cap" on funding.
Not sure about ways to engage your local representatives? Child Care Aware and the National Women's Law Center (NWLC) have you covered.
Want to know more about federal budget, recess and how this impacts child care and CACFP? Listen to this phenomenal conference call hosted by the National Womens Law Center: Conference Call
Don't Know Who Your Congresspeople Are? Don't Worry, I Didn't Either.
This handy-dandy website is going to help you out: https://www.opencongress.org/people/zipcodelookup
Food Program (CACFP)
The food program, which is the nutrition program that partially reimburses family, center and head start child care providers for the food fed to the children in their care, is up for reauthorization.
This means Congress is looking at the current laws around the program and determining if there should be changes made.
Of course, the food program community is seeking improvements regarding ease of administration and reimbursement increases! Tell your Senators to endorse Senator Casey's bill that does just that - click here to do it now!
NOW is the time to educate your Senators and Representatives about the food program, it's impact on the children's nutrition and healthy habits and improvement of your quality care.
Help our advocates show the best parts of the program and write a letter, make a phone call or invite a congressperson to your facility to see the program in action.
Quick Background on CCDBG: In November last year, the federal government reauthorized the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG). The changes in this legislation are substantial and all states are required to meet these regulations in order to be in compliance for federal dollars, which means subsidies for child care slots as well as other child care funding. President Obama has asked for $82 million to go to Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) which funds CCDBG. The President also asked for an additional $266 million in order to help states implement this new legislation.
Consequences of Not Enough Funding:
The law the provides opportunities to make some great and necessary changes in our child care system but we need the dollars to go with the legislation.
Many have voiced concerns that child care slots will be lost because states will have to use the funds they do have for implementation and regulation of new rules.
There will be a lot of new rules states and child care providers need to follow but not enough technical support to help them do it successfully.
If you do take part in showing our congresspeople the best of child care and the food program, it would be great to show them a program that does both things successfully! Making the point that quality child care and education goes hand in hand with quality nutritionally sound programs.