Early Childhood Funding at Risk
Yesterday, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) convened a call with the National Women's Law Center, National Association for the Education of Young Children, and First Five Years Fund. The purpose of the call was to raise awareness about the current precarious position of early childhood funding.
While the proposed President's FY2012 Budget aims to increase, or at least maintain, spending on early childhood funding, the allocations for the FY2011 budget have still yet to be determined and childhood funding is at great risk. CLAPS also emphasized that the President's budget is just a proposal. Congress is not required to adopt his promising proposal in part or in whole.
- A $39 million cut to the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG)
- A $1.08 billion cut to Head Start (15 percent of current funding)
- A $100 million cut to 21st Century Community Learning Centers and
- Elimination of the Even Start program.
These cuts result in devastating effects on the Head Start and Early Head Start programs and the children and families they support. Not only will 218,000 children be released from the programs and 16,000 classrooms closed, Head Start will no longer be able to provide services such as medical care that the most economically vulnerable children rely on. If these cuts are made, our economy will take a vicious hit. Thousands of teachers and other education staff those will lose their jobs, deteriorating our greatest resource of human capital. Early childhood education is vital for development and maximizing success potential. The FY2011 budget should not be at the expense of our country’s most economically vulnerable children.
In response, CLASP and NWLC have issued the following call to action:
- This week: call your House Representative and tell them that you are against spending cuts for early childhood funding. Find your House Representative by going to www.house.gov and typing in your zip code.
- Next week: call your Senators and tell them not to support spending cuts on funding for early childhood funding. Find your Senators at www.senate.gov and selecting your state.
- Utilize networks to publicize the devastating impact budget cuts will have at the community level.
- February 22 begins District Work Week: Invite your elected officials to schools and Head Start programs so they can witness why these programs must be protected.