RELEASE: Governors Call for Nearly $3 Billion in New Funding for Early Childhood Programs

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress released a new issue brief looking at what governors are doing to support state early childhood programs. The state-by-state analysis finds that 32 governors and the mayor of Washington, D.C., have proposed more than $2.93 billion in new funding for state child care, preschool, and home visiting programs. The sum is similar in scale to the additional early childhood funding included in last year’s appropriations deal passed by Congress. Key findings from the report include:

  • Nationwide, children under the age of 6 would benefit from $123 per child in additional funding for early childhood programs.
  • Fifteen governors proposed funding increases in excess of $100 per child under age 6. Seventeen governors requested $0 in additional funding for early childhood programs.
  • States proposing the largest per-child funding increases, include Washington, D.C., ($1,014.87) Colorado ($595.30), California ($556.95), New Mexico ($424.24), and Oregon ($402.45).
  • Preschool programs accounted for the bulk of proposed funding increases—with smaller requests for infant and toddler child care and home visiting programs.

The brief comes the same week that Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signed H.B. 1344, which sets a goal of capping child care expenses at 7 percent of a family’s income by 2025. The bill is a first-of-its-kind piece of legislation at the state level and mirrors the income cap that would be established under the Child Care for Working Families Act, the leading child care affordability bill in Congress.

“In making this funding a priority, governors are sending a loud and clear message to state legislatures and Congress that the days of underfunding early childhood programs need to end,” said Simon Workman, director of Early Childhood Policy at CAP. “Adequately funding these programs is critical to help families afford child care expenses, keep parents in the workforce, and ensure providers are paid livable wages.”

Please click here to read “Governors Propose Nearly $3 Billion of Investments in Early Learning Programs” by Steven Jessen-Howard.

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Colin Seeberger at or 202.741.6292.