Trump’s Skinny Budget
President Trump made his budget public this week. Like many people entering negotiations, he opened with an extreme position, adding $54 billion to the defense budget, for instance, and balancing increases with large cuts in many areas, including education, housing, and social services.
The “skinny budget” indicates that early care and education are not a high priority for the Administration; the budget for the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the department that’s home to the main funding we use in Maryland for child care subsidy, child care quality and regulations, and for Early Head Start and Head Start (among many other programs), is designated for a cut of $15.1 billion (18%). Line item changes in the HHS budget that directly address the needs of very young children and their families – including the Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention Grants – are not specified.
“In 2018, HHS funds the highest priorities, such as: health services through community health centers, Ryan White HIV/AIDS providers, and the Indian Health Service; early care and education; and medical products review and innovation. In addition, it funds urgent public health issues, such as prescription drug overdose, and program integrity for Medicare and Medicaid. The Budget eliminates programs that are duplicative or have limited impact on public health and well-being.”
The link to the budget narrative is https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/budget/fy2018/2018_blueprint.pdf
As the state’s foremost early care and education advocate, Maryland Family Network stays close to our congressional delegation on these matters and will keep our Public Policy Committee members (+/- 400 of them!) apprised of actions that may affect children from birth to kindergarten.