Last week, President Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 to continue funding the federal government through September 2018. The bill includes a HUGE increase for child care and early learning, including a $2.37 billion increase for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), which is the primary source of federal funding for child care subsidies for low-income working families. These funds also help to to improve child care quality. Details regarding New Jersey’s portion of the funding are still unknown. The spending bill also contains:
- A $610 million increase for Head Start ($115 million will be used for Early Head Start expansion or Early Head Start/child care partnerships)
- A $35 million increase for the federal Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) program, which provides grants to institutions of higher learning to help fund child care for low-income students with children
- A $20 million increase for 21st Century Community Learning Centers, which supports after school programs
- An $11.4 million increase for Part C of The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which helps fund early intervention services for infants and toddlers with developmental delays or who have been diagnosed with physical or mental conditions with high probabilities of resulting in developmental delays
- A $12.8 million increase for Part B Sec 619 of IDEA, which authorizes grants to states for preschool children with special needs, ages 3 to 5
- Flat funding for Preschool Development Grants at $250 million
The spending bill targeted additional funding for programs that assist children and families in the child welfare system, juvenile justice programs, and state grants to address the opioid epidemic.
Historic changes were made to federal child welfare law through the Family First Prevention Services Act, included in the continuing budget resolution passed on February 9, 2018. Read More.
This is great news for New Jersey's children and families.