What's the Omnibus Appropriations Bill and What Does it Mean for Child Care?

What's the Omnibus Appropriations Bill?

Last week we learned that the government would, in fact, not shut down as Congress reached an agreement and President Trump signed the omnibus appropriations bill.  This makes it so the government is funded through the end of the 2017 fiscal year.

Basically, Congress has to pass appropriations bills (which defines where money is going to be spent in the federal budget).  There are several of these bills that get passed throughout the year and it's called an "omnibus" when they combine more than one of these bills that describe where money is going to be distributed within the federal budget.

What Does it Mean for Child Care?

Moderately Good News

It's moderately good news!  The best part of the news - they didn't cut child care funding.  It was actually increased, which says a lot in this political and budgetary environment.

The Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) got an increase of $95 million and Head Start received an $85 million increase.

What's the CCDBG?

I know it seems like that is just words, letters and numbers strung together so let's ask the question "what is CCDBG?"

CCDBG provides funds for child care assistance to families who need it and funds quality initiatives for child care at the federal level.  The regulation has recently been updated to include requirements for healthy and safety, consumer information, family friendly eligibility policies and activities to improve the quality of care.  

When regulation was updated, there wasn't any additional funding attached it, therefore child care organizations and advocates have been encouraging the community at large to remind congress that funding to the tune of $1.4 billion is required to successfully implement the new policies and maintain the funded child care assistance slots in the states.

Now What?

We need to continue sharing the impact of our roles in the community.  We need to continue telling our representatives what is important - child care, early education, children, families.  It has worked, your voice has worked to ensure child care wasn't cut and that, in fact, investment was made - but we need more!

Call To Action - May 18

Child care organizations like NAFCC and NAEYC are encouraging us to take part in a child care call in day to our Senators on May 18 to work toward Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 investments.  More to come like phone numbers and scripts but put it on your calendar on May 18th in bold "CALL SENATOR TODAY."

Let's continue to make our voices heard - it's worked and we just need to keep on keepin' on!

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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.