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Bonamici, Kaine Praise Billion Dollar Increase for Child Care, Early Childhood Learning

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) —members of the House Committee on Education and Workforce and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committees, respectively— released a joint statement praising the $1 billion increase for early childhood learning and care included the government funding package.

The Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2024 includes a $725 million increase for the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and a $275 million increase for Head Start. Bonamici and Kaine have long advocated for the funding package to include a substantial increase for CCDBG and early childhood learning and care, including during negotiations earlier this year.

“Child care is essential to working families and our economy,” Bonamici and Kaine said. “We’ve continually pushed for increased investments in the Child Care Development Block Grant because we must preserve existing child care spots and expand access to quality care for even more families. This funding for CCDBG and Head Start is great news for child care providers, Head Start agencies and their educators, small businesses, parents, and our communities as a whole.”

“This clear prioritization by Congress shows that Members on both sides of the aisle understand the essential role these programs play in the lives of millions of children and their families,” said First Five Years Fund Executive Director Sarah Rittling. “It also underscores the impact these programs have on supporting a robust workforce and economy. We are grateful that lawmakers continue to invest in the foundation of America’s child care and early learning programs.”

The funding package also includes a $66.5 million increase in funding to support universal pre-K for service member families, and restores funding that House Republicans attempted to eliminate for the Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program and Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five program.