Update: August 25, 2021
The House passed the Budget Resolution on August 24. This is not the end! This is the kick-off of the work on the details.
The Budget Resolution tells the Committees how much funding they have available to invest in the care infrastructure. House and Senate Committees only have until September 15 to assemble those details!
We will work together to make sure they know that with this funding it is time to solve child care. You can start today: https://nafcc.org/our-work/public-policy-and-advocacy/take-action/solvechildcare/
August 11, 2021
On August 11, the U.S. Senate approved a federal Budget Resolution.
In a more ordinary year, the Budget Resolution tells the appropriations committees how much money they each can work with, and together we do the annual advocacy of investments in the Child Care and Development Block Grant and Head Start.
But this has been no ordinary year, Members of Congress can no longer ignore that child care is infrastructure. Parents can’t go to work without child care and child caregiving requires people like NAFCC members who are able to open, stay open, be healthy and well and compensated and valued for the crucial role they play.
This year, the Budget Resolution is something much more. The Budget Resolution is giving specific instructions to a variety of Congressional Committees to invest a specific amount of dollars in a short list of issues under that committee’s reach. These committees would have until September 15 to pull together their details.
The Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee has jurisdiction over the federal child care law and Head Start. They would be getting instructions from the Budget Resolution to do details on child care for working families and on universal preK. They’re to do this with an understanding that Head Start funding will continue.
“The Senate is taking a crucial step in ensuring that we invest in and prioritize child care infrastructure. America needs high-quality and affordable child care so parents can work inside and outside the home. And early care educators should be safe, healthy and earn a living wage to provide the service our communities rely on and take care of their own families. The health and livelihood of family child care providers are on the line and we simply cannot continue to piecemeal solutions.
“Our children, families, employers and whole communities bear the brunt every single day we don’t invest in child care. Let’s forge a new path in building an early care and education system that reaches every child and values everyone working in family child care programs. We’re advocating for smart policies that help family child care to thrive.”
This is our chance at a “better way forward” and to “build it back better”. All the calls-to-action in recent months and all the things we feel in our hearts are given a chance right now.
But the details!
This is our chance to hold tight to all the times someone has said “mixed delivery” and all the times someone has agreed “yes, child care is early learning.” This is the time to make sure people are talking about the power of family child care.
When we say a better way forward, what NAFCC means is this: a better way is one that has family child care providers in it, one they want to be a part of, one they helped design, one where they’re most certainly valued, and children and families are getting what they need because family child care providers are in it.
The Budget Resolution gives a dollar amount and some directions to each committee. The specific details are to come – and to be shaped by all of us together.
NAFCC is calling on Congress to:
- Invest in the early childhood workforce – healthy and well, diverse, and generously compensated;
- Invest in ways that are equitably distributed;
- Invest where children are. Child care is early learning and early learning is child care;
- Invest so that self-employed early childhood educators in family child care homes have paid leave, health care, retirement plans.
The Senate passed the Budget Resolution and the next step is a vote in the House of Representatives. The Members of the House are in their home districts now but will return to Washington, DC on August 23.