(Washington, D.C.) This afternoon the President signed the budget that will fund the federal government for the next six months. This budget provides a significant boost to non-defense discretionary spending and includes the largest increase in discretionary child care funding in history—an additional $2.37 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), the country’s major federal child care program, and an additional $610 million for Head Start. The budget also includes a provision that bars employers from taking their employees’ tips and boosts funding for other key priorities, including increases for some civil rights agencies and some programs that serve children and families.
However, the budget fails to provide temporary or permanent immigration relief to immigrant youth who have received or may be eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.
The following is a statement by Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center:
“We applaud the historic boost in funding to the Child Care and Development Program—$2.37 billion. 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. After years of shortchanging our nation’s child care system, this investment is a decisive first step toward achieving high-quality, affordable child care for all. The new Head Start funding will begin to address the critical shortage of high-quality infant care and allow programs to extend their hours to better meet the needs of working mothers and their families.
“Another vital provision makes clear that tips belong to the hardworking people who earn them, most of whom are women—not employers. This measure will override the Department of Labor’s proposed rule allowing employers to pocket their employees’ tips.
“Despite these victories, it’s unacceptable that the budget keeps Dreamers in limbo while earmarking $1.6 billion for border security and hiring new immigration agents and attorneys. The lives of 800,000 Dreamers are on the line. Congress must act immediately to protect Dreamers and give these young people the certainty they deserve.”