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.
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!
- NAFCC - Federal Budget Information
- Child Care Aware Blog Post: Child Care Programs Fare Very Well in Budget Agreement
- Child Care Aware of America and NAEYC have similar updates but you must sign up for their newsletters to access it.