NAEYC Children’s Champions
October 4, 2010
Congress Leaves for a Month with Temporary Flat Funding
Before leaving town late Wednesday, Congress passed a stopgap funding measure to ensure that the federal government will keep running while Congress recesses for the mid-term elections. The continuing resolution (often called a “CR”) passed the House on a 228-194 vote, hours after the Senate sent it over by a vote of 69-30. The measure will keep programs funded until December 3rd.
Under the CR, programs will be funded at fiscal year 2010 enacted levels. In total, the CR will provide funding at a rate about $8.2 billion below the FY 2010 level. In what may be a preview of things to come in December, an amendment offered by Senator John Thune (R, SD) that would have imposed a five percent across-the-board cut in discretionary spending was narrowly defeated on a 48-51 vote. An Administration request to include in the CR funds for CCDBG, the Pell Grant program and for competitive Race to the Top education grants was not included in the CR.
Importantly, because the funding during the period of the CR is at 2010 enacted levels, the bump in CCDBG and Head Start/Early Start funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is not the “base” for funding levels. Funding for CCDBG will be at $2.1 billion (rather than the $2.9 billion requested by the Administration for FY2011) and for Head Start/Early Start will be at $7.2 billion (rather than the $8.2 billion requested for FY2011 by the Administration). The plan at this time is for Congress to pass an Omnibus appropriations bill for FY2011 when they return after the election, and not simply extend the CR into the new year.
New Report on State Child Care Subsidy Polices
A new report from the National Women’s Law Center finds that ARRA/stimulus funds helped states avoid cuts to their child care assistance policies between 2009 and 2010. The report, State Child Care Assistance Policies 2010: New Federal Funds Help States Weather the Storm, finds that most states did not have major changes in their child care assistance policies, including income eligibility limits, waiting lists, parent copayments, and reimbursement rates, despite cuts to other programs during the same time frame. However, now that states are beginning to exhaust these funds, child care assistance programs may be at risk of cuts without additional funding. The report is available at www.nwlc.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/statechildcareassistancepoliciesreport2010.pdf
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