Federal Child Care Policy News - Round Up

If you subscribe to any child care mailing lists (or all of them as I am) you have received at least one message (or 20) about the federal budget and the new Child C.A.R.E. Act.  Let's take a moment and appreciate the incredible number of organizations and people rallying around children, child care and early learning - Thank you for all of the work you are doing.

Let's take a look at some of the things we learned and resources we can use to best understand these big announcements.


2017 President's Proposed Budget

As the National Association For Family Child Care policy brief points out this is a FIRST step in the annual funding process. The good news is that the Administration continues to make child care a priority.  This proposal is a "non-binding request to Congress."  

Congress now decides on the details of the actual federal budget on which they will vote.  Categories included in the budget are: Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG), Head Start and Early Head Start, Preschool Development Grants, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Dependent Care Tax Credit.  Dollar amounts proposed for each category can be found here.

Resources

NAFCC Federal Budget Information Page: Includes information from how the 2016 budget ended, budget process guide, and the 1 page overview of proposed budget items.

President's Early Learning Budget FY2017 and Legislation to Strengthen Child Care For Families with Young Children from the Administration for Children and Families, Linda K. Smith

Webinar by Child Care Aware to review and summarize the President's 2017 proposed budget

Babies & The Budget: Opportunities for Action by Zero To Three (2012) - this provides a timeline and opportunities to take action throughout the federal budget process.

Child Care Aware Newsroom post explaining the budget.


The Child C.A.R.E. Act - Child Care Access to Resources for Early Learning Act of 2016

There are a lot of places you can find overviews of Act that Senator Casey and Representatives Crowley and Frankel introduced but I think ACF most plainly outlines what it means and what is there - especially in relation to the President's budget mentioned above.

...[T]he bill that supports the President’s budget request to boost the quality of care for children under 4. In order to receive the funds states would have to submit a specific plan that outlines how they would use the funds for four specific uses -
1. to improve the skills and competencies of the child care workforce aligned with the recommendations in the 2015 Institute of Medicine and National Research Council Report
2. activities to support training and technical assistance through a statewide network of infant and toddler specialists
3. activities that provide start-up grants
4. or activities to establish/expand networks of family child care providers
— President's Early Learning Budget for FY2017 and Legislation to Strengthen Child Care for Families with Young Children, Linda K. Smith, Administration for Children and Families, February 10, 2016

Take Action

There are calls to action from several organizations that you can take part in.  Each organization has a different letter that emphasizes different arguments.  Choose the organization's letter that you like the most and submit your email and voila! Action Taken.

Sign a letter

Join a Twitter Storm

National Women’s Law Center, NAEYC and other partners next Wednesday, February 17 at 2pm EST for an #investinkids Twitter Storm

Share, Share, Share

Download Child Care Aware's Social Share Kit for pre-drafted social media posts, press release, and graphics. 

Resources To Get A Better Understanding

Comment

Samantha Marshall, M.A.

Samantha is, just like you, excited to make a difference in our community and our world. With a Master of Arts degree in English Literature, you might ask how she found herself building and writing for a website focused on child care. From 1995 through 2001, Samantha started her career working for Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) sponsors which introduced her to the importance of non-profits, community and quality child care. Her experience with Sponsors, State Officials, and Family Child Care Providers left a great and lasting impression. Later in her career and her most recent position at SAGE Publications, an academic publisher, was as a product manager for a new online resource! During this time many of Samantha's passions collided. A love for the written word, children and the proliferation of knowledge as well as a fascination with the resources the internet gives us, building a community for child care on ChildCareInfo.com is the perfect way to make the difference she wanted to. Needless to say, she is very excited to be an active part of creating and building ChildCareInfo.com.