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.
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.
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
- National Women's Law Center - Urge Members of Congress to Co-Sponsor the Child C.A.R.E. Act
- Child Care Aware of America - Support the Child C.A.R.E. Act
- Zero to Three - Ask your Members of Congress to Cosponsor the Child C.A.R.E. Act.
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
- Policy Email from National Association for Family Child Care Explaining the Act
- NAFCC Supports the Act - with a statement from Eva Daniels, Executive Director
- Congress Introduces New Legislation from Child Care Aware of America
- 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