December 23, 2015

Gillibrand Announces More Than $2.7 Billion In Federal Funding For Child Care And Development Program In Omnibus Bill Signed By President

Omnibus Spending Bill Secures about $2.7 Billion in Federal Aid to the Child Care and Development Block Grant Program For FY2016

Washington, D.C. U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that, after her push the Omnibus spending bill signed by the President last week includes $2.761 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant Program (CCDBG) for Fiscal Year 2016 (FY16). The funding Gillibrand pushed to include would provide assistance to low-income families across the United States to gain access to quality, affordable child care while parents work or attend school. The CCDBG program helps over 1.4 million children from nearly 900,000 low-income families across the United States.

The $2.761 billion secured by Gillibrand is an increase of $326M over FY15 levels. Gillibrand wrote to the Senate Appropriations Committee urging that without this additional federal funding to supplement state resources, states would have been faced with cutting the number of low-income children and families receiving reliable, affordable child care assistance through this program.

“I pushed to secure this funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant Program so that New York and states across the country have the resources necessary to implement child development programs without reducing the number of low-income children and families served by the program,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The funding I pushed to secure in the omnibus will help over one millions children and thousands of families in New York and across the country.”

Last year, Congress passed a reauthorization of the CCBDG program that strengthens health and safety standards for child care providers, requires mandatory background checks for all child care staff members, and implements new training requirements for child care providers. Without additional federal funding to supplement state resources, several states would have been faced with cutting the number of low-income children and families receiving reliable, affordable child care assistance through this program. Many states already have waiting lists for the CCDBG program as a result of funding shortfalls.

The CCDBG program is the primary federal funding source to promote families’ economic self-sufficiency and foster healthy child development and school success by improving the overall quality of early learning and afterschool programs.

Senator Gillibrand’s most recent letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee included below.

December 1, 2015

The Honorable Thad Cochran                                     The Honorable Barbara Mikulski

Chairman                                                                     Vice Chairwoman

Senate Committee on Appropriations                         Senate Committee on Appropriations

Washington, D.C. 20510                                            Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Roy Blunt                                           The Honorable Patty Murray

Chairman                                                                     Ranking Member

Subcommittee on Labor, Health and                          Subcommittee on Labor, Health and

Human Services, and Education                                 Human Services, and Education

Senate Committee on Appropriations                         Senate Committee on Appropriations

Washington, D.C. 20510                                            Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Chairman Cochran, Vice Chairwoman Mikulski, Chairman Blunt and Ranking Member Murray:

As you work to finalize the Fiscal Year 2016 (FY16) appropriations legislation, we urge you to appropriate funding at the highest possible level for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program.

The CCDBG program helps over 1.4 million children from nearly 900,000 low-income families across the United States gain access to quality, affordable child care while parents work or attend school. The dual purposes of the program are to promote families’ economic self-sufficiency and foster healthy child development and school success by improving the overall quality of early learning and afterschool programs. The CCDBG program is the primary federal funding source dedicated to these purposes.

Last year, Congress passed a reauthorization of the CCBDG program with overwhelming bipartisan support. This legislation instituted important reforms to the CCDBG program, including strengthened health and safety standards for child care providers, mandatory background checks for all child care staff members, and new training requirements for child care providers. These reforms will require significant additional federal investment to implement. Without additional federal funding to supplement state resources, states will be faced with cutting the number of low-income children and families receiving reliable, affordable child care assistance through this program. Many states already have waiting lists for the CCDBG program as a result of funding shortfalls.

The recently enacted Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 increased domestic budget caps and made more funding available for critical programs funded through the appropriations process.  Therefore, we urge you to use this opportunity to increase funding for the CCDBG program to the highest possible level to ensure that states receive adequate resources to implement the new CCDBG program requirements without reducing the number of low-income children and families served by the program. Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Sincerely,

Kirsten Gillibrand
United States Senator