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Biden Administration Proposes Budget, Reveals Infrastructure 

The Biden Administration is continuing to push its ambitious legislative agenda with the release of its proposed FFY 2022 “skinny” budget and the first part of an infrastructure plan, called the American Jobs Plan, which the House hopes to pass by July 4th.

The proposed federal budget – a starting point in non-discretionary spending ahead of several months of negotiations between the administration and Congress that will also likely include conversations about what elements will be viable from the infrastructure plan – includes the following elements of interest to child and family policy:

  • $7.4 billion for the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG), an increase of $1.5 billion and an $11.9 billion investment in Head Start, a $1.2 billion increase.
  • An overall increase of 41% in K-12 education spending, including increasing Title I funding for historically under-resourced schools by $20 billion, providing a level of funding appropriated at $36.5 billion.
  • $200 million to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity rates nationwide, including funding aimed at Maternal Mortality Review Committees, expanding the Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies program, implementing implicit bias training for healthcare providers, and creating state pregnancy medical home programs.
  • $100 million in new competitive grants for states to advance reforms that would reduce the overrepresentation of children and families of color in the child welfare system, as well as $200 million for states generally to respond to and prevent child abuse.

Shifting to the American Jobs Plan, which was publicly launched in Pittsburgh earlier this month, coming in at a $2 trillion price tag, the plan not only includes investments in traditional items such as roads, bridges, the electrical grid and broadband, it also adds-in some non-traditional elements with the package using a broader approach to the definition of infrastructure. Among these elements is the $25 billion Child Care Growth and Innovation Fund which would provide for building or upgrading child care facilities in underserved areas. The fund would also create an expanded tax credit to encourage businesses to construct child care facilities in their workplace, providing employers with 50 percent of the first $1 million of construction costs.

The Biden Administration noted the second portion of the legislative package – the American Families Plan – will be released in the coming weeks separately from the American Jobs Plan and the full, two-part proposal will have a total price tag coming in at $4 trillion. This second package is said to be aimed in part increasing the wages and benefits of direct care workers in various sectors, including child care workers. It is also believed to be paired with paid family leave as well as other health insurance initiatives. This second portion of the plan is likely not to see significant momentum in Congress until later in the 2021 calendar year and perhaps during the budget reconciliation process. Stay tuned for further updates from PPC on federal legislative activity.


Lancaster County Virtual Home Visiting Event Focuses on Families

The Childhood Begins at Home campaign hosted a virtual event last week with House Speaker Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) and Sen. Scott Martin (R-Lancaster) where home visitors and the parents they work with shared the positive impact evidence-based home visiting has had on their lives and the lives of their children. Other attendees included representatives from the Parents as Teachers and Nurse-Family Partnership models as well as Lancaster County District Attorney Heather Adams, Dr. Joan Thode and Geoffrey Eddowes, Senior Vice President and Senior Operating Officer, Women & Babies Hospital - Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, and Fight Crime: Invest in Kids State Director Bruce Clash. 

The campaign is seeking a $6.3 million increase in the FY 2021-22 state budget to expand home visiting services across Pennsylvania. Parent participants and their home visitors reinforced to Speaker Cutler and Sen. Martin that home visiting is a worthwhile investment that provides important services, especially during the pandemic. Both expressed support for home visiting with Sen. Martin noting “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”


Join Us for a Lunch & Learn Webinar on Home Visiting State Budget Advocacy

Please join PPC tomorrow, April 21st from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. to discuss the important role of home visitors in advocating for increased investments in evidence-based home visiting in the FY 2021-22 state budget to help more pregnant women, children and families in Pennsylvania build the foundation for a successful future.

Register by emailing info@childhoodbeginsathome.org, Subject line: Home Visiting Webinar


Helping Infants and Toddlers Get a Healthy Start

Because a child’s brain grows most rapidly during the first three years of life, this presents a critical time to ensure health care coverage as early as possible.

More than 21,000 babies and toddlers in Pennsylvania did not have health insurance in 2018, and babies and toddlers under age 3 in our state are more likely to be uninsured compared to older school-age kids and teens.

Please help us raise awareness that no family makes too little or too much to get health insurance in Pennsylvania, by sharing these flyers – in English and Spanish – about free or low-cost, affordable options for health insurance in Pennsylvania.

Immunizations, screenings and assessments during well-child visits, regular dental care and access to nutritious food are all part of ensuring a healthy start for children.

Together we can help families get peace of mind of knowing they’re covered.


National Institute for Early Education Research Releases State of Preschool 2020; PA Ranks 28th for 4 year-old access, 11th for 3 year-old access

NIEER – the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University – recently released its State of Preschool 2020 report, an annual comprehensive review of how states are investing in pre-k and how they compare to each other in both access and quality. Of note for the 2020 yearbook, the release notes that growth in state-funded pre-k slowed even pre-pandemic but the COVID-19 crisis has had a marked impact on programs. The report finds that not enough support is being invested in states across the country to ensure high-quality pre-k is being provided to reach every eligible 3- and 4-year-old.

  • Read the full yearbook report here.
  • Read the Pennsylvania state profile here.

In Case You Missed It...

  • In a big step for advancing the extension of postpartum Medicaid coverage across the county, HHS Secretary Beccera approved the Illinois waiver request! Read more on this exciting news and what it means for the prospects of this policy being implemented in other states from our partners at the Georgetown Center for Children and Families. Also, learn more on the details of what states can do on taking action via a waiver vs. a state plan amendment in their Medicaid program in their blog post here.
  • PPC President and CEO Kari King appeared on a segment of WESA Pittsburgh’s Confluence program last week, discussing the topic of child care access across the state and the data our organization provides as part of the Start Strong PA campaign. Listen to the segment here. (interview starts at minute marker 6:55 and ends at 12:53)
  • The Office of Children, Youth, and Families released a special transmittal outlining responsibilities for county agencies for supporting transition age youth and utilizing funding under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.  
  • Pennsylvania is one of eight states selected to participate in the National Academy for State Health Policy’s (NASHP) two-year cohort for state health officials interested in building state capacity to address maternal mortality for Medicaid-eligible pregnant and parenting women.
  • Last week the federal Administration for Children and Families released the official allocations for child care funding for states from the American Recovery Plan. Find Pennsylvania’s anticipated funding here. This is coupled with additional materials coming from the White House and HHS last week on the use of federal funds.
  • On Monday, April 19 PPC participated in a webinar hosted by PA Schools Work with campaign partners Allies for Children and the Pennsylvania Association for Career and Technical Administrators on the importance for continued advocacy and investments in CTE funding in the FY 2021-22 state budget. PPC Policy Director presented for PPC. Watch the webinar here.
  • Last week the Senate Education Committee held a public hearing to hear from advocates on a variety of education reforms. This was the first in a series of upcoming hearings the Senate Education Committee will be conducting on this topic. 
  • The Pennsylvania Department of Education recently updated its guidance on determining instructional models during the pandemic. 
  • U.S. Department of Education released two roadmaps to safely reopening schools.  The first volume focused on safely reopening schools while the second volume focuses on how to address special needs of students, such as school meal plans and responding to children’s mental health needs.
  • Sign this petition and join state advocates, providers, and parents to encourage Pennsylvania lawmakers to provide additional resources and investments to preserve the Commonwealth’s existing early learning system and ensure the healthy development of more young children.

Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children
200 North Third Street 13th Floor | Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17101
(717) 236-5680 | info@papartnerships.org

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