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Dear NCCA Member,

During the month of June, LobbyIt met with Congressman Tom Cole's office to discuss the Childcare Development Block Grant Program and the outlook for funding levels for FY18.


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Stakeholder Meetings
Meeting with Congressman Tom Cole's Office:

LobbyIt met with Congressman Tom Cole's office due to his position as Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Labor, Health, Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. He also sits on the Budget Committee, and is the Co-Chair of the Pre-K caucus. That being said, his office is very familiar with the needs and issues childcare facilities are facing.


Since 2015, which is the year most recent data is available, fewer than 1.4 million children received CCDGB-funded childcare per month.Approximately 373,100 fewer children received CCDBG-funded child care in 2015 than in 2006, representing a 21 percent reduction in the average monthly number of children served over 9 years.


Despite a modest increase in 2015, CCDBG failed to keep pace with inflation, eroding the block grant's value. At the same time, child care costs have continued to increase. At current investment levels, only 15 percent of children who are eligible for child care assistance actually get help. As a result, states target their very limited resources to families with the greatest need. More than half of families served in CCDBG have incomes below the federal poverty level, even though the program is designed to reach families with incomes up to two or three times greater on average.


Absent new investment-even if CCDBG were flat funded-up to 217,000 children could lose child care assistance in 2018. Because CCDBG is a block grant, states ultimately make decisions about how to allocate their funding. Without an increase in funding, states are left to make painful decisions across important priorities, such as basic health and safety assurances, provider payment rates, quality initiatives, and subsidies for low-income families


Additionally, new grant requirements that kick in for the first time this year will require facilities to set aside funds that specifically address newborn and infant care.Due to this stark reality, LobbyIt communicated to Congressman Cole's office the need to increase CCDGB funding for FY18 by $1.4 billion.


Congressman Cole's office understood the importance of this program, but told LobbyIt staff that programs such as these are in a vulnerable position, even in the event Congress passes a continuing resolution for FY18. In either event, he agreed with LobbyIt staff that NCCA should continue its engagement with Congressman Cole's office, as well as other member offices and committees.


Going forward, LobbyIt will be working with NCCA to send off a letter to appropriate offices and committees that reiterates the importance of the CCDGB program and requests for a modest increase in its budget for FY18.

Legislative/Regulatory Outlook and Activity
Sponsor:Green, A. (D-Texas)
Introduced:1/3/2017
A bill to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to provide for the calculation of the minimum wage based on the Federal poverty threshold for a family of 4, as determined by the Bureau of the Census.

Sponsor:Green, G. (D-Texas)
Introduced:1/3/2017
A bill to direct the Secretary of Labor to revise regulations concerning the recording and reporting of occupational injuries and illnesses under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.

 
Representative Steve King (R-IA) introduced this bill on January 23, 2017. On January 23, 2017, the bill was referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. RepresentativesAndy Harris (R-MD)andTrent Franks (R-AZ)are currently cosponsoring this bill.
 
This bill repeals the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and limits the authority of the Department of Education (ED) such that ED is authorized only to award block grants to qualified states. The bill establishes an education voucher program, through which each state shall distribute block grant funds among local educational agencies (LEAs) based on the number of eligible children within each LEA's geographical area. From these amounts, each LEA shall: (1) distribute a portion of funds to parents who elect to enroll their child in a private school or to home-school their child, and (2) do so in a manner that ensures that such payments will be used for appropriate educational expenses. To be eligible to receive a block grant, a state must: (1) comply with education voucher program requirements, and (2) make it lawful for parents of an eligible child to elect to enroll their child in any public or private elementary or secondary school in the state or to home-school their child. The bill repeals a specified rule that established certain nutrition standards for the national school lunch and breakfast programs. (In general, the rule requires schools to increase the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or fat free milk in school meals; reduce the levels of sodium, saturated fat, and trans fat in school meals; and meet children's nutritional needs within their caloric requirements.)
 

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