Children's Issues

From Head Start to Child Care and Development, Democrats are working to promote safety and health for America's children. Democrats support access to Head Start programs for all eligible children and backed the Early Learning Opportunities program, signed by President Clinton in December 2000. With three out of five preschoolers in childcare while their parents work, safe and quality childcare is a concern for millions of Americans and the Democratic Party. The Early Learning Opportunities program provides resources to communities for more responsive early childhood systems, including parent education and family support services.

President Bush has proposed cutting 2,500 kids from the Head Start program and by his Administration's own estimates, Head Start will fall 84,000 children short of a Democratic goal to ensure that one million children receive Head Start by FY 2002. Additionally, the President proposed eliminating all funding for the Early Learning Opportunities program and freezing funding for Healthy Start, a program to reduce low birth weight, inadequate prenatal care, and other factors contributing to infant mortality. The President's 2001 budget even cut the Child Care and Development Block Grant by $200 million.