We invite you to join us in supporting increased funding for the Head Start, Early Head Start, and Child Care and Development Block grant (CCDBG) programs. We propose an increase of $1 billion for Head Start and Early Head Start, and an increase of $1 billion for CCDBG in FY2011.
The Head Start and Early Head Start programs prepare children for success in school and later life by providing children and families with comprehensive early education, health, nutrition, child care, and social services. Studies show that children who participate in these programs are better prepared for school than their peers and therefore have a greater chance at success later in life. Unfortunately, current Head Start funding levels allow these programs to serve only half of all eligible preschoolers, and only six percent of eligible infants and toddlers. While our economy struggles, families depend on Head Start and Early Head Start for quality health, nutrition, and early education services more than ever. In order to ensure that eligible children continue to receive services, we request increased funding for Head Start and Early Head Start in FY 2011.
Access to high-quality and affordable child care also supports children’s readiness for school, as well as parents’ ability to maintain stable and productive employment. However, for low-income families, child care is often the second highest or highest cost in the family budget. In an effort to provide families with child care assistance and ensure high-quality care, Congress established the Child Care and Development Block Grant program in 1990. To ensure that families continue to receive child care assistance, we request that CCDBG funding be increased for FY 2011.
The Head Start, Early Head Start, and Child Care and Development Block Grant programs are a vital part of our investment in our children, and improved funding for these programs is integral to every child having the opportunity to succeed in school and life.