In discouraging times, when many policy decisions serve the most privileged in our country at the expense of the most vulnerable, it is important to recognize and celebrate our victories. As part of the FY18 omnibus spending bill, child care gained an historic $2.37 billion dollar increase in funding, which will allow an additional 151,000 children to receive child care assistance and help states boost quality of child care.
So, the child care and early learning coalition threw a celebration!
Last Wednesday the child care and early learning coalition celebrated this historic win with Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), each of whom played instrumental roles in prioritizing the needs of children and families in the FY18 budget.
Senator Murray said that she is, “so excited about what we’ve done so far in the budget but we have work left to do.” This increased funding will positively impact thousands of families, allowing them to access the support necessary to give their children a strong start, but there are still families in need. This is one step towards gaining high-quality child care and early learning opportunities for all children.
Senator Warren spoke about how, “it’s been so tough for so long now,” and how exciting it is “to be able to come in and celebrate a giant shifting win that will make a difference for so many people.” Especially in times like these when victories are few and far between, we must savor the wins and use them to leverage morale for the challenges to come.
Representative DeLauro reminded everyone in the room that “when we advocate, we are fighting the battle that makes the difference.” This increased funding will indeed make the difference in the lives of thousands of American families, and we must continue the fight to ensure that the difference is made for all children.
Members of the coalition were invited to a sit-down meeting prior to the celebration with Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), a key leader in the budget agreement, to discuss how important this increase in funding is for families, as well as the child care workforce, especially as we shift to an increasingly technological economy.
This is a time to celebrate! This funding will allow more children to build a strong foundation for their future, allow more women to work to support their families, and help support the child care work force. There is much work still to be done, but it’s always important to celebrate accomplishments, especially when times are tough.