News Releases

Sen. Murray announced significant increased investments in Head Start and child care

As a former preschool teacher, Sen. Murray is fighting for high-quality, affordable child care and early learning for all

Funding increases follow introduction and strong support for Sen. Murray’s Child Care for Working Families Act

Murray: “I’m pleased Congress listened to the voices of parents, teachers, advocates, and local community members… and agreed to the biggest increase of child care funding ever”

(Washington, D.C.)  – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), senior member of the Appropriations Committee, announced major new investments for early learning and child care in the bipartisan spending deal, a “down payment” on Senator Murray’s Child Care for Working Families Act. A former preschool teacher, Senator Murray has long been a champion of early childhood education and care, and is continuing to fight to address our nation’s child care crisis and help ensure every working family has access to high-quality, affordable child care. 

“I’ve heard from families across Washington state and the country about their struggles to find and afford high-quality child care and early learning, so I’m pleased Congress listened to the voices of parents, teachers, advocates, and local community members, and agreed to increase investments in Head Start and agreed to the biggest increase of child care funding ever,” said Senator Murray. “As a former preschool teacher, I know that investing in our youngest learners isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smartest thing we can do—so I hope we can keep working together until high-quality, affordable early learning and care is a reality for all.”

The omnibus spending agreement includes a $2.37 billion increase to the Child Care Development Block Grant, totaling $5.226 billion, and increased Head Start funding by $610 million, to total $9.863 billion. 

The spending bill also includes increased funding for the Child Care Access Means Parents in Schools (CCAMPIS) program, which helps provide child care for student parents, and provides an increase for early intervention services for children with disabilities under part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  

In September 2017, Senator Murray introduced the Child Care for Working Families Act, a comprehensive early learning and child care bill that would ensure no family has to pay more than they can afford on child care, expand access to high-quality preschool for low- and middle-income 3- and 4-year-olds, and support our nation’s child care teachers and caregivers by providing them with better training and pay. The bill has 30 cosponsors in the Senate and 118 cosponsors in the House of Representatives.