WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) issued the following statement on newly introduced House and Senate proposals to create a universal Pre-K program:
We can all agree on the importance of ensuring children have the foundation necessary to succeed in school and in life. However, before investing in new federal early childhood initiatives, we should first examine opportunities to improve existing programs designed to help our nation’s most vulnerable children, such as Head Start and the Child Care and Development Block Grant.
Recognizing an opportunity to come together and strengthen these and other initiatives, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce Committee will convene a hearing in the coming weeks to discuss the challenges facing early childhood care and education in America. I look forward to a productive discussion with my colleagues on ways to help get the youngest Americans on the path to a brighter future.
BACKGROUND: According to a 2012 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, the federal government dedicates at least $13.3 billion each year to operate 45 programs that provide or support early childhood care and education. The House Committee on Education and the Workforce has jurisdiction over seven of these programs, which received $11.4 billion in federal funding in fiscal year 2012. The programs include:
- Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) – $2.28 billion
- Head Start/Early Head Start – $7.97 billion
- Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) – Title I – $290 million*
- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) – Preschool Grants – $373 million
- IDEA Infants and Families Grants – $443 million
- Education for Homeless Children and Youth – $65 million**
- Child Care Access Means Parents in School – $16 million
Additionally, 40 states have developed and/or implemented their own early childhood systems.