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Trump Budget Would Reduce Families’ Access to Early Care and Education

President Trump’s proposed budget for fiscal year (FY) 2018 would cut or eliminate essential child care and early education programs that help parents work and foster children’s learning and healthy development. In addition to these cuts, the budget proposes massive cuts to other programs that offer crucial supports to children and families, including Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and housing assistance programs. While Trump discussed families’ need for child care during the campaign, his budget would make it harder for families to afford high-quality early care and education and deprive families of other assistance that they need to gain financial security and that their children need to thrive.President Trump’s proposed budget for fiscal year (FY) 2018 would cut or eliminate essential child care and early education programs that help parents work and foster children’s learning and healthy development. In addition to these cuts, the budget proposes massive cuts to other programs that offer crucial supports to children and families, including Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and housing assistance programs. While Trump discussed families’ need for child care during the campaign, his budget would make it harder for families to afford high-quality early care and education and deprive families of other assistance that they need to gain financial security and that their children need to thrive.

• Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG): CCDBG provides funding to states to help low-income families afford child care and to improve the quality of child care. In FY 2017, CCDBG received $2.856 billion in discretionary funding. President Trump’s budget proposes decreasing CCDBG discretionary funding by $95 million, to $2.761 billion, and maintaining CCDBG mandatory funding at $2.917 billion, for total CCDBG funding of $5.678 billion in FY 2018. The budget does not provide any new funding to cover inflation or the costs of implementing the important new child care health and safety requirements and other provisions of the CCDBG Act of 2014—much less expand assistance to more families.

As it is, five out of six children eligible for federal child care assistance are not receiving it. Due to declining funding, 373,000 fewer children received CCDBG-funded child care assistance in 2015 than in 2006. The Administration’s budget projects that, with continued level funding, the number of children receiving child care assistance through CCDBG and other federal funds used for child care (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Social Services Block Grant funds) would decline by another 516,000 between 2016 and 2026—and that is even before taking into account further potential losses due to proposed cuts to other federal programs (discussed below), discretionary spending caps, or sequestration cuts.

• Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): The president’s budget would reduce core TANF funds by 10 percent ($1.6 billion). This cut could have serious repercussions for early care and education programs, since states use a significant portion of their TANF funding for these programs. After CCDBG, the TANF block grant is the largest federal funding source for child care assistance to low-income families, with states directing $2.57 billion in federal TANF funds to child care in 2015 (the most recent year for which data are available). States spent a total of $7.3 billion—23 percent—of their federal and state TANF funds on child care, prekindergarten, and Head Start programs combined in FY 2015.

• Social Services Block Grant (SSBG): President Trump’s proposed budget eliminates SSBG, which provides funding to states to meet a variety of needs for low-income children and families and which received $1.7 billion in funding in FY 2017.  Child care services comprised 11 percent of SSBG spending in 2014.

• Head Start and Early Head Start: President Trump’s budget proposes to reduce Head Start/Early Head Start funding from $9.253 billion in FY 2017 to $9.168 billion in FY 2018, a cut of $85 million. Head Start and Early Head Start provide comprehensive early education services for low-income infants, toddlers, and preschool-age children and their families. These programs offer crucial educational, social-emotional, nutritional, and health supports to encourage children’s successful development, and provide supports for their parents as well. Yet Head Start reaches less than half of eligible preschool-age children, and Early Head Start reaches less than 5 percent of eligible infants and toddlers.

• Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS): The budget would eliminate the CCAMPIS program, which provides campus-based child care services for low-income parents in postsecondary education and which received $15 million in funding in FY 2017.

• 21st Century Community Learning Centers: The budget proposes to eliminate the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, which funds before- and after-school and summer enrichment programs and which received $1.19 billion in funding in FY 2017.

• Preschool Development Grants: The budget proposes eliminating Preschool Development Grants, which help states expand and improve early care and education opportunities for preschool-age children as well as infants and toddlers in low- and moderate-income families and which received $250 million in funding in FY 2017.

• Grants for Infants and Families: The Grants for Infants and Families program under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides funds to states to support early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. The budget proposes flat funding of $458 million for the program in FY 2018.

• Special Education Preschool Grants: The Preschool Grants program under Part B, Section 619 of IDEA provides funding to states to support special education and related services to children ages three to five with disabilities. The budget proposes flat funding of $368 million for the program in FY 2018.