Thanks at Thanksgiving

Have you received a T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Wisconsin scholarship and completed courses in early education? Do you participate in the R.E.W.A.R.D.™ Wisconsin stipend program? Are you able to better serve nutritious food to children at your child care program because you are enrolled in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)? If yes, please take a minute to send a message of thanks to your state representatives.

Find out who your representatives are by clicking here and entering your home address. Let them know how T.E.A.C.H., R.E.W.A.R.D., and/or the CACFP have helped and supported you to become a high-quality child care provider!

WECA would also like to send a big THANK YOU this Thanksgiving to all Wisconsin early education professionals and their families. Thank you for providing quality care to young children across the state.

Early Education is Prioritized in Federal Spending

2011 Early Education Spending Increases Suggested
On July 15th, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education approved a fiscal 2011 spending bill that would increase federal early education spending. The spending bill includes:

• An increase of $700 million for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (total appropriation of approximately $2.827 billion). This suggested increase is the largest increase since 2000 and will help states maintain some investments made with ARRA funds. States use CCDBG dollars to improve access, affordability, and quality within child care.

• An increase of $866 million for Head Start funding (a total appropriation of $8.1 billion). This increase will help ensure that crucial Head Start classrooms added with ARRA funding remain open.

• An increase of $5.5 billion in discretionary funding for Pell Grants (total of $23.162 billion). This funding will ensure that more early childhood professionals- as well as other individuals- will be able to afford to attend college.

Next, this plan will travel to the full Appropriations Committee and the full House of Representatives to be considered.

Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Improvements
On June 15th, the House Education and Labor Committee passed the Improving Nutrition for America’s Children Act (H.R. 5504) with a bipartisan vote of 32-13. The bill strengthens CACFP programs by providing funding for five state pilot programs to provide an additional meal or snack, reducing paperwork and simplifying program requirements, increasing support for CACFP sponsors as they enroll child care providers, and enhancing the nutritional quality of food served in early childhood settings.