Lowey Announces Major Federal Funding Increase for Child Care and Early Learning Services
OSSINING, NY – Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY17/Rockland-Westchester) today held a press conference at Ossining Children’s Center to announce a significant increase in federal funding for child care and early learning services as part of the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2018, which funds the federal government through September.
Lowey was joined by representatives of the Ossining Children’s Center, the Child Care Council of Westchester, and Child Care Resources of Rockland, and by Ossining Village Mayor Victoria Gearity and Ossining Town Supervisor Dana Levenberg.
“For families with young children in the Lower Hudson Valley, especially those who are low-income or middle-class, finding quality, affordable child care can be a major stress and a severe financial burden,” said Congresswoman Lowey. “Every child should have the opportunity to grow and learn in a safe, supportive environment. We know that children who have high-quality child care and are enrolled in early childhood services such as preschool and Head Start have better outcomes as adults, including higher graduation rates and earnings. That is why I am pleased to announce that, as the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, I secured historic investments in child care and early childhood learning in the recently enacted federal spending bill for fiscal year 2018.”
According to the Economic Policy Institute, Westchester is the third-costliest area to raise a family in the United States, edging out New York City, largely because of high child care costs. Monthly child care costs range from $1,114 for a single-child family to $3,220 for a family with four children.
The investments Lowey successfully fought to increase in the federal spending bill, which will help better meet the needs of children and families across the Lower Hudson Valley, include:
- An increase of $2.4 billion, the largest increase in history, for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, a federal program that provides grants to states to help families access child care. New York is expected to receive an estimated $106.7 million in additional funds and provide child care for an estimated 11,811 more children;
- An increase of $610 million for Head Start, a comprehensive child development program for low-income families;
- An increase of $12.9 million for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Preschool Grants to support special education for young children with disabilities; and
- An increase of $20 million for afterschool programs.
Additionally, the federal spending bill protected funding for Preschool Development Grants, which help states create and improve preschool accessibility, and increased funding for the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) Program by $35 million. In October 2017, Lowey announced a CCAMPIS continuation grant of nearly $82,000 to sustain access to campus-based childcare for low-income students at Rockland Community College, State University of New York.
“In 2015, Westchester County lowered the income eligibility ceiling for subsidized day care. The increase Congresswoman Lowey has secured will be invaluable in returning the ceiling to its original level. This will provide access to child care to new deserving families,” said Howard Milbert, Executive Director of Ossining Children’s Center.
“We very much appreciate Congresswoman Lowey’s dedication to the child care industry and know how hard she fights for more funds and better policies to ensure our children receive what they deserve. This increase in funding in the Child Care Development Fund will provide more families with access to quality child care, help teachers in early childhood to receive the support they need, and support children in their development,” said Elaine Trotta, Director of Program Standards and Support Services at Child Care Resources of Rockland.
“New York’s share of the $2.4 billion increase in the Federal child care subsidy will improve safety conditions and the learning environment in child care facilities; improve the financial viability of child care businesses; enable more parents to return to work; and, of course, enable more children to enroll in a quality early childhood education for the first time. This historic increase in child care funding would never have happened without our Congresswoman, Nita Lowey,” said Jeff Samuelson, Child Care Council of Westchester Board of Directors member.
The historic investments in child care and early childhood learning in the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2018 are a strong repudiation of President Trump’s budget proposal, which called for steep cuts to domestic agencies and programs.
“These investments are just the start,” said Congresswoman Lowey. “Our work is not done until every child in our community has access to child care and early learning. I will continue working in the House to strengthen investments that will put our children on the path to success.”