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Senate Appropriations Committee passed spending bill that maintains historic increases for child care funding, increases funding for Head Start 

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

Senator Murray: “I’m pleased we not only continued the historic increases to child care and early learning, but that Republicans and Democrats agreed to another boost for Head Start”

(Washington, D.C.)  – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), senior member of the Appropriations Committee, announced increased investments in early learning, building on the historic increases for early learning and child care agreed to last year. The Senate Appropriations Committee passed the Fiscal Year 2019 Labor, HHS, & Education Appropriations Bill that continued the increased investments for child care, and provided more funding for Head Start. Congress agreed to the largest increase in funding ever for child care and early learning after Senator Murray introduced her Child Care for Working Families Act last fall. 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 and early learning. 

“Families across Washington state and the country have shared their stories about the challenges they face finding and affording high-quality early learning and care, and they’ve made it clear that Congress must act now to address our nation’s child care crisis, said Senator Murray. “I’m pleased we not only continued the historic increases to child care and early learning, but that Republicans and Democrats agreed to another boost for Head Start. 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 bipartisan spending bill continues to fund the Child Care Development Block Grant at $5.226 billion—the same amount Congress agreed to in FY 18, and a $2.37 billion increase from FY 17 levels. This bill also increases Head Start funding by $250 million, building on a $610 million increase last year. 

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 32 cosponsors in the Senate and over 120 cosponsors in the House of Representatives.