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Smokers may pay salaries of some Early Childhood Professionals

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
sent out an e-mail to recipients this week about President Obama’s funding request for fiscal year 2015 in the area of early childhood.
On March 6, 2014, President Barack Obama (D) requested a “strong” budget for birth-kindergarten education, according to NAEYC. The 2015 fiscal year begins on October 1, 2014.
According to NAEYC, early childhood is included in the Opportunity, Growth, and Security Initiative budget request. The budget request also includes mandatory spending in TANF, the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), and voluntary home visits (using a tobacco tax increase).
The cost of a pack of cigarettes has been fluctuating over the years and can be at least $5.00.
According to NAEYC, within the framework of last year’s federal budget agreement, President Obama’s budget request includes for the CCDBG a “$57 million increase in discretionary funds,” according to NAEYC. Mandatory funding is requested to increase by $750 million.
Requests have also been made for increases in discretionary funds for “Head Start, Early Head Start, and Head Start-Child Care Partnerships”, according to NAEYC’s e-mail. These increases would include cost-of-living (COL) adjustments and expansion of Early Head Start and Head Start-Child Care Partnerships grants.
President Obama’s request also includes an increase for Preschool Development Grants, which enable states to “expand high-quality preschool” for poverty-stricken children.
While no increase was requested for Title I LEA grants or IDEA 619 special education, IDEA Part C would see an increase in early intervention. The tobacco tax was suggested by the President to increase funding for Preschool for All/Strong Start preschool.
Finally, a request was made to increase the amount of child care expenses parents could offset for children under age 5. This requests falls under the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, which is not refundable.
The Opportunity Budget requests will only be available if the revenue is generated for Preschool Development Block Grants and Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships.
On another note, President Barack Obama stresses the importance of raising the minimum wage, which may require programs to make adjustments to labor.

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