Dear Member of Congress,
I urge you to support the proposal to increase funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) by $2.9 billion in the FY 2018 appropriations bill. This substantial investment in high-quality child care will help parents work, boost the well-being of our littlest learners, and make our economy stronger.
Families are struggling. The fact of the matter is that childcare and pre-K costs are sky high—in fact, in 30 states and the District of Columbia, infant care costs exceed the average cost of college tuition. On top of that, approximately half of American families live in a “childcare desert,” meaning they can’t access the quality child care they need. Additionally, early learning providers, 94% of whom are women, are struggling significantly since childcare is one of the lowest paying industries in the United States.
The new funds will allow nearly 230,000 additional children to receive child care assistance, giving low-income parents financial help to afford high-quality child care so they can succeed at work. It will also help to fund salaries needed to attract and retain well-qualified child care professionals; and give children the early learning experiences they need to succeed in school and in life and to become productive members of the future workforce. In addition, this increase will ensure that states have the resources they need to implement the provisions in the 2014 bi-partisan reauthorization of CCDBG that will bolster the quality and safety of child care and help families more easily access help in paying for child care.
In order to realize such a substantial investment in child care, it is critical that you support increasing the budgetary caps on domestic spending. Only by raising the caps and providing a proportionate increase in funding to the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education appropriations bill, can this increase in the CCDBG be achieved.
I hope you will stand up for working families, our littlest learners, and the economy by supporting and voting for this increase in vital CCDBG funding.