Congresswoman Katherine Clark is leading an effort in the U.S. House to protect and strengthen the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) aimed at ensuring low income families have access to quality child care.
146 Members of Congress joined Rep. Clark’s push to protect and strengthen CCDBG, focusing on more access for low income families, high impact early intervention programs, and investments in programs serving children with disabilities.
In a letter to House appropriators, Rep. Clark requested the following:
* Funding the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) at the President’s requested FY17 level of $3.0 billion, an increase of $200 million over FY16. During the last Congress, CCDBG was reauthorized with strong bipartisan support for the first time since 1996. The new law includes provisions designed to ensure the health and safety of children in child care settings and make child care assistance more accessible to low-income families. The President’s Budget request will help states implement policies required by the new law. Millions of American families count child care as the highest (or second highest) single cost they face. CCDBG funds leverage the purchasing power of these working families—without this program, millions of American parents would simply be unable to contribute to our nation’s economic prosperity.
* Funding Grants for Infants and Families (Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) at the President’s requested FY17 level of $503.6 million, an increase of $45 million over FY16. A simple toddler hearing test costs $10-$50—a missed or late hearing impairment diagnosis costs a lifetime of diminished communication skills. This program supports early intervention and screening where it counts, when it counts, for 352,000 children per year.
* Funding Preschool Grants (Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) at the President’s requested FY17 level of $403.2 million, an increase of $35 million over FY16. These funds leverage state investment to ensure 753,000 young children (ages 3-5) with disabilities enter school ready to succeed.
Rep. Clark represents the fifth district in Massachusetts, which includes Framingham.