Breaking News for Babies! from ZTT’s The Baby Monitor

President Requests Increased Funding for Key Infant-Toddler Services
President Obama released his FY11 budget request this morning, indicating his priorities for funding for the fiscal year that runs October 1, 2010-September 30, 2011. The $3.8 trillion budget request includes $1.415 trillion in overall domestic discretionary funding. While the budget request largely freezes domestic discretionary funding for the next three years, it does include funding increases for some programs and services, as well as proposes new initiatives the President would like to see enacted by Congress. Proposed funding and tax credits for infants and toddlers include:

Child Care: An increase of $800 million (and an additional $11 billion over ten years) in mandatory Child Care and Development Funds to allow states to provide child care subsidies to additional working families. In addition, another increase of $800 million is proposed to provide quality improvements through the reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG). Total funding for CCDBG under this proposal would equal $2.927 billion, $137 million of which is targeted for improving the quality of infant-toddler care.
Head Start/Early Head Start: $8.224 billion for Head Start and Early Head Start, an increase of $989 million over FY10 funding.    The proposed increase in funding is projected to continue providing services to the 64,000 additional children and families served through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Part C: $440 million for Part C Early Intervention Services for infants and toddlers, the same as FY10 funding.
Early Learning Challenge Fund: $625 million in mandatory funding for the President’s proposed Early Learning Challenge Fund (ELCF), which passed the House in September and is awaiting action in the Senate. Mandatory funding is automatically allocated and therefore not subject to the annual appropriations process.
Child Care Tax Credit: A near doubling of the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, which helps working parents afford the costs of child care.
Promise Neighborhoods: $210 million for Promise Neighborhoods, modeled after the Harlem Children’s Zone, which supports "comprehensive programs that address the needs of children and youth in a targeted area from before the time they are born to their attendance in college."
All of these proposals, if approved by Congress, would bolster supports for families with young children during difficult economic times. Stay tuned to the next edition of The Baby Monitor on February 8th for a full listing of proposed funding levels for all early childhood programs.

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