Posted by Michelle Thomas, TCC Senior Policy Advisor

Despite the political divisiveness in our nation right now, one thing a strong majority of lawmakers agree about is that investments in early childhood education are valuable and necessary.  Below, a review of key events and investments during 2018 signal continued bipartisan support for early childhood education.

2018 Mid-Term Gubernatorial Elections

Of the 36 gubernatorial elections held on November 6, 2018, 29 winning candidates have publicly commented on the importance of ECE and/or supported policies that benefit ECE programs.

Historic Levels of Public Investment for Early Childhood Education Programs

The FY 2018 budget bill resulted an increase of $2.37 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program above FY2017 levels – effectively doubling the program’s discretionary funding. Congress then appropriated an additional $50 million dollars for CCDBG in the bipartisan FY2019 funding bill.

Funding for Head Start and Early Head Start, including the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships (EHS-CCP) program, increased by nearly a billion dollars.

Federal Government Grants to States

The Office of Child Care released $250M in competitive PDG B-5 Grants opportunities to all States and Territories.  The grants are intended to support states in building infrastructure that allows for a more seamless early education system for parents and children.  At last count, at least 47 applications have been submitted for consideration.

The Office of Head Start released $150M in competitive Early Head Start Expansion and Early Head Start/Child Care Partnership Grants.  

Private Foundation Grants to National Organizations and States

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) received a $1M grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to support a unique multi-organizational advocacy and action strategy designed to increase equitable access to high-quality child care. Working in partnership with the Bipartisan Policy Center,  the Center for American ProgressChild Care Aware of America, and the First Five Years Fund, this effort is designed to bolster current and ongoing efforts to help states across the nation maximize the recent and historic increase in federal child care funding provided by Congress.

Pritzker Children’s Initiative released Prenatal – Age 3 grantsFive to ten Planning Grants ($100,000/grant) and three to five Action Grants (ranging from $1-3 million to be made following the planning process) will be awarded to states who submit winning proposals focused on expanding needed state and community services for children prenatal to age three and their families.

All in all, 2018 was another successful year for the early childhood education field.  I am optimistic that this trend will continue well into the next decade.

To learn more about TCC’s Early Childhood Data Systems please visit our website or email Mike.Boyle



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