(Washington, D.C.) Early this morning, Congress voted on a budget deal that will raise the caps on non-defense discretionary spending and provide an additional $5.8 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), the main federal child care program, over the next two years. This funding increase will allow an additional 230,000 children to receive child care assistance and help states boost the quality of child care.
The following is a statement by Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center:
“The boost in funding to the Child Care and Development Program—$5.8 billion over two years—is truly historic. After years of shortchanging our nation’s child care system, this investment is a decisive first step towards achieving high-quality, affordable child care for all. In the richest country in the world, it’s inexcusable that millions of parents can’t afford the cost of child care and their children are denied the opportunity that would put them on the path to success.
“But today’s victory comes at a devastating time when the lives of 800,000 Dreamers are on the line. Republican leaders in Congress tried to pit us against each other and force us to choose between critical priorities—like funding child care, keeping the government open, providing disaster funding to Puerto Rico, or funding community health centers—and protecting Dreamers. This is a false choice. We reject the premise that we must abandon Dreamers if we dare ask for anything else. Members of Congress failed to protect Dreamers and meet the nation’s funding priorities. This is a moment of truth for America. It’s time for all of us to stand together and urge Congress to give these young people the certainty they deserve.”