Included in the Senate’s bipartisan budget agreement announced yesterday, is a historic $5.8 billion increase for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) over two years. This amount, which doubles current discretionary funding, would expand child care assistance to nearly 230,000 children. This hard-fought victory is a chance to realize the opportunities included in the 2014 reauthorization of CCDBG to improve the quality of child care for our must vulnerable children. It would provide much-needed resources to states to fully implement CCDBG’s health and safety provisions, quality improvements, and reforms to provide more stable and continuous care for families.

Smart Start applauds efforts in the Senate to lift up the importance of child care assistance for working families. We also thank the advocates, organizers, providers, and parents who have worked so hard to ensure that members of Congress understand the importance of CCDBG.

The Senate’s action is a step in the budget process for fiscal year 2018 (FY 2018). Congress is currently operating under a Continuing Resolution for FY 2018, which began October 1. The House and Senate must come to an agreement and pass a spending bill by the end of Thursday in order to keep the government open.