Governor's All-Cuts Budget Devastating for Children
On Wednesday Dec. 9th Governor Gregoire released her all-cuts version of the 2009-11 supplemental budget, and it is devastating for children and families.
The Governor does not support this budget – she will be releasing another version of her budget proposal in early January that reduces many of these cuts and includes revenue from various sources, but we do not have any details of what that might include yet.
Over the next few months, both before the Governor’s next budget proposal and while the state Legislature is considering their budget decisions, we are going to have to be very vocal and active in our communities, with the media, and with our elected officials about the importance of protecting children first, especially in these difficult economic times. We will be asking ECEAP and Head Start families, staff and directors to be strong advocates for these programs and for the needs of our children and families. Washington’s economic situation is dire, and the decisions that the Governor and legislators make will be difficult, but we need to make sure they hear from us.
We will be sending some materials to help programs and families deliver the message to the media and elected officials.
Here are some of the cuts proposed:
- ECEAP -- 1500-1600 ECEAP slots cut, as well as one employee at Department of Early Learning. This would eliminate all 3-year olds. This year we have 1609 3-year olds, 20% of our 8053 children served. (10.6 million cut)
- Working Connection Child Care Subsidy -- $88 million cut to Working Connections. Right now 3800 new families are served each month – this would be reduced to 1400, a 63% cut. This cut would affect most of our ECEAP/HS/EHS working families. It would also greatly affect Head Start programs (including Migrant, Tribal, and Early Head Start), who depend on families’ access to the child care subsidy in order to operate full-day programs.
- Home Visiting programs – Elimination of the Council for Children and Families, which funds a variety of home visiting programs (like Nurse Family Partnership) that benefit pregnant moms and children 0-3. ($1.9 million cut)
- Child Care Resource and Referral – R&R programs help families find child care in their communities, provide training and work to improve the quality of child care. ($425K cut)
- Health Care – Elimination of Basic Health (65,000 families), and reduce Apple Health for Kids from 300% of poverty to 205%.
This is just the first step in the process, and we need to get ready for a long and busy few months of advocacy!
New Toll Free number to contact your Congressman and Senators!
The National Head Start Association (NHSA) has created a toll-free number that can be used to reach your members of Congress. The new, toll-free number is
(888) 622-NHSA (6472). Calling this number will connect you directly to the Capitol Hill Operator, who can then transfer you to your elected officials. Communicating with your members of Congress and expressing your policy priorities keeps them accountable to you and is an invaluable way to advocate for Head Start!
Ask your elected officials whether they support full funding for Head Start. Call for their support of the inclusion of funding for Head Start as part of an economic recovery package, supported by the Coalition on Human Needs. Educate them on where your program stands as it struggles to provide quality care on a reduced budget. Call now!
Not Getting Information Sent Right To You
If you are not getting information directly sent to you and have to rely on a neighbor to forward you updates and other information please go to our web site at www.wsaheadstarteceap.com and enter your contact information. No more having to wait for that busy director or staff person to forward you information.