“Dear Chair Blunt and Ranking Member Murray,
We deeply appreciate the increased investments in early childhood in the FY 2019 omnibus appropriations bill. As you weigh your budget choices for FY 2020, we urge you to lift the caps on non-defense domestic discretionary funding and to expand the federal commitment to early care and education. For the FY 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill, we request that you increase funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) by $5 billion over the FY 2019 level, increase funding for Head Start and Early Start by $1.495 billion, and provide $250 million for Preschool Development Grants. We ask you to increase funding for early intervention services provided through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part C (Grants for Infants and Families) from $470 million to $531 million and for Part B, Section 619 (Preschool Grants) under IDEA from $391 million to $441.8 million. Funding for these two programs has remained at almost level funding for many years. As we move to increase opportunities for all young children to access high-quality early care and learning programs, these IDEA supports and services are critical to ensure young children with disabilities are able to succeed with their peers that are typically developing.
Together, these programs help parents work, boost the well-being of children, and make our economy stronger.”