The federal government shutdown. We know that many early childhood providers and other services that children and families receive have had funding cuts from sequestration, and now have the added blow of cuts to programs or furloughs of important governmental staff as a result of the federal government shutdown. Twenty-three Head Start programs did not receive their new grant on October 1 because new/renewed grant funds cannot be processed during a shutdown. One state has furloughed 150 child care licensing staff. Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and WIC funds to states should last through October. It is overdue to have a responsible resolution of the appropriations for the current fiscal year for the entire government, to ensure our national and global economic security with a clean debt ceiling vote, and to help children and families have access to early childhood, nutrition, health and other important services that help them and our nation thrive.
Please read the NAEYC statement – Whole Child, Whole Budget – on the need to move forward with a real budget, using real appropriations bills and the right investments. The proposed approach in the House of Representatives to fund one program at a time for a few months is not workable. Effective governing requires a stable, well-invested federal budget, including early childhood education, child nutrition, health and other services that help all of America prosper.
When does it get better? There needs to be a decision to move forward with the funding for this fiscal year. There needs to be a clean vote to raise the debt limit (as has been done in the past) so that the country can pay its bills.
Visit www.naeyc.org/policy/action for information on how to reach members of Congress.
Tweet using #justvote. Here are some samples (remember no more than 140 characters).
- Children and families deserve a federal budget that invests in them on behalf of all of us.
- Don’t delay any longer. Pass the funding bills, invest in children now.
- Whole budget is needed to support the whole child and family.
Tell us your stories! How are the cuts impacting you and the families you work with? Send your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(This information was shared by the National Association for the Education of Young Children via the Children’s Champions email update, October 7, 2013. To receive regular policy updates from NAEYC, sign up for the Children’s Champions email list.)