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Protecting Early Childhood Programs

Mar 30, 2011
Floor Statement

Madam Speaker,

I rise today to promote early childhood programs, which are investments not only in our children, but in our country’s future.  In 1990, the Child Care and Development Block Grant was created for low income parents who are either working or in school.  If the proposed cuts to Child Care and Development Block Grants are signed into law, 150,000 families nationwide would lose child care subsidies.

In my home state, the annual cost of child care for an infant can be nearly $12,000 and the annual cost for a toddler can be over $9,000.  Head Start is another vital service that has provided educational, health, nutritional, and social services to three and four year olds since 1965.

If the cuts proposed in H.R. 1 become a reality, 218,220 children nationwide would lose access to Head Start and approximately 55,000 Head Start employees would lose their job.  3,719 children in New Jersey would be left without access to Head Start, and we already have 9,500 children on the waiting list.

As Congress continues to debate funding for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2011, we must support vital programs like block grants and Head Start.