Together with numerous organizations, Shma Koleinu signed and sent a letter to the administration on building a comprehensive and equitable child care and early learning system. This letter outlines our deep appreciation for the Administration’s leadership on the American Rescue Plan and offers our continued partnership and support. We offer recommendations for ensuring that equitable economic recovery efforts that prioritize child care and early learning take place moving forward. Without a child care system that works for every family, our economy will suffer in the short and long term. We look forward to working with the administration to prioritize child care and early learning as a key facet of our national economic infrastructure.
The block grant team of Shma Koleinu is focused on advocating for federal funding for early childhood education, with a focus on learning more about the Child Care and Development Block Grant, also known as CCDBG.
What is CCDBG? Here is a two-minute video that introduces CCDBG.
As a legislative update, you may recall that President Biden published his American Rescue Plan in January. It then went to the House of Representatives, which passed the bill on February 27. It is currently being considered and adapted for the Senate. The portions relevant to early childhood education are twofold: they are (1) grants and (2) tax credits. In terms of grants, the bill includes $15B for CCDBG, which benefits children in families with low incomes, and $25B for Emergency Stabilization for the childcare industry, which benefits centers. As for the tax portion of the bill, there is a provision for child care tax credits, benefiting families across the U.S.
This bill needs our support in order to make it through the Senate. We believe this bill will be historic.
As Senator Patty Murray has said, “The American Rescue Plan marks a historic shift in how our country approaches child care. It will allow providers to stay open and better support families who need help affording quality child care — and it also sets a new precedent for finally prioritizing economic policies that support working women and families. I’m looking forward to getting this across the finish line.”
We have one action item that we are requesting of every Shma Koleinu member, which is as follows: Follow the link that Anna is now putting in the chat, which includes instructions for placing a phone call your senator. We ask that you do this today and that you share the link with your networks.
What is ahead for our Initiative? In the coming months, we will begin a process of learning about how each of our individual states utilizes both the CCDBG funds and the Emergency Stabilization funds, with an eye toward leveraging learnings from one state to bolster activism in others. Finally, we have lined up a dynamic team of policy leaders to teach an intensive summer series on the history of American early childhood policy and funding. This course will be an element of ECEpalooza, powered by the Paradigm Project and the Sheva Center at the JCC Association of North America.