Press Release

Contact: Ed Walz
Phone: 202-657-0685
Email: edw@firstfocus.net
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Children’s Advocates Applaud White House Early Childhood Proposal

Early Childhood
Education
Tax Policy

Washington – The bipartisan children’s advocacy organization First Focus Campaign for Children today applauded President Barack Obama’s proposal for increased federal investment in children’s early development and education. According to First Focus’s Children’s Budget 2014, just four-tenths of one percent of federal spending during federal fiscal year 2013 was invested in the care and education of nearly 25 million children under school age. The White House proposal, released today, would strengthen family tax credits and increase funding for high quality child care, voluntary home visiting, Head Start and Early Head Start, and universal pre-Kindergarten (pre-K). Key elements of the White House proposal include:

  • A federal-state partnership to make quality pre-K affordable for all children under five;
  • An additional $80 billion over 10 years for the Child Care and Development Fund – funding sufficient to make quality child care affordable for all children under four;
  • Tripling (to $3,000 per child) the maximum Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit for families with a child age five or younger;
  • Make permanent a set of improvements to the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit that allow those credits to lift millions of children out of poverty every year;
  • Extending Head Start to a full school day and year;
  • Extending funding for voluntary, evidence-based home visiting, which will otherwise expire at the end of March; and
  • Funding partnerships between Early Head Start and local child care providers to improve linkages between quality child care and early education

In response to the White House proposal, the First Focus Campaign for Children released the following statement from its president, Bruce Lesley:

“If we continue to ignore children’s developmental, health, and other needs during their first critical years, we’ll always be playing catch-up on education, on health care, and on a host of other issues. But if we give kids a better chance to thrive during those first years, every other problem gets easier to solve. We applaud President Obama for this new, better, and much more proactive approach to investments in America’s children.”

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The First Focus Campaign for Children is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization affiliated with First Focus, a bipartisan children’s advocacy organization. The Campaign for Children advocates directly for legislative change in Congress to ensure children and families are the priority in federal policy and budget decisions. For more information, visit campaignforchildren.org.