Work in Washington, DC continued this week on the federal FY 2019 budget, with Congress reaching a deal to prevent a shutdown by passing a large package of spending bills for this month along with a continuing resolution that would fund the rest of the government through early December. The legislation now heads to the President for his approval.
Of note, the bill includes:
• A $50 million increase for Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) over FY 2018
• A $200 million increase for Head Start, $50 million of which will be for the expansion of Early Head Start and Early Head Start Child Care partnership grants
• $250 million for the Preschool Development Grant program
In other federal news this week, the Senate came to an agreement on the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018, which tackles the ongoing opioid crisis through an array of approaches, including:
• Provides support for states to collaborate and improve plans of safe care for substance-exposed infants and requires the HHS Secretary to extend technical assistance and issue guidance on plans of safe care
• Authorizes $20 million in funding for HHS to award states to develop, enhance or evaluate family-focused treatment programs to increase the number of evidence-based programs that will later qualify for funding under the Family First Prevention Services Act
• Allows the HHS Secretary to award grants to states to develop family support initiatives aimed at keeping families together, among other items.