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L-R: SEIU-FPSU Executive Board members Robin Kirkpatrick and Cheryl Lewis-Hamilton with Congresswoman Corrine Brown and SEIU-FPSU Deputy Chief of Staff Joseph Brenner in a Head Start lobbying meeting in DC
The re-opening of the federal government last October included a budget deal that required the Congress to pass appropriations bills for fiscal year 2014 by January 15, 2014. On Saturday January 17, President Barak Obama signed the fiscal year 2014 appropriations bill. Below is good news for Head Start members;
- Child Care: $2.36 billion for Child Care & Development Block Grants (CCDBG), which is $154 million more than the FY 2013 level*.
- Head Start: $8.6 billion for Head Start, which is $1.025 billion more than the FY 2013 level*,sufficient to fully restore the FY 2013 sequester cuts to Head Start and allow for an approximately 1.3 percent cost of living adjustment.
- Early Head Start Expansion/ Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships: Included in the $8.6 billion in Head Start funding, is $500 million to fund competitive grants to expand Early Head Start and establish new Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships. Through the Early Head Start-Child Care partnerships, new or existing Early Head Start agencies will partner with child care centers and family child care providers. Early Head Start agencies would enter into contractual relationships with local child care partners to provide training, technical assistance, and funding to support child care partners to meet Early Head Start performance standards. The Department of Health & Human Services will implement these grants and should prioritize Early Head Start organizations that seek to partner with local child care programs across settings, including child care centers and family child care programs. HHS should also establish standards to ensure that the responsibilities and expectations of the EHS providers and partnering child care programs are clearly defined.
- Pre-school grants (Race to the Top): The Race to the Top program allows $250 million to be used for competitive grants to States for activities that build the capacity within the State to develop, enhance, or expand high-quality preschool programs, including comprehensive services and family engagement, for preschool-aged children from families at or below 200 percent of the Federal poverty line. Funds may also be used to help early childhood educators to attain higher credentials and degrees. In addition, up to 3 percent of this Race to the Top funding can be used for technical assistance, evaluation, and other national activities.
*The FY 13 levels reflect an across-the-board cut (ATB) of 0.2% from the levels set in the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act. These levels are then reduced by the 5.0% sequester cuts applicable to all Nondefense Discretionary programs. The FY 13 levels generally represent a cut of 5.23% below FY 12 (except for programs such as Head Start which received a specific pre-sequester increase in the FY 13 CR).