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The President’s Proposed Spending Plan For 2025 Includes Key Investments in Vital Programs for Babies

President Biden’s proposed fiscal year 2025 budget, unveiled on March 11, 2024, includes essential and urgently needed funding for programs that build a strong foundation for young children and families.   

“If implemented, President Biden’s budget will make our nation a better and fairer nation to have and raise a baby. ZERO TO THREE has urged Congress and the Administration to prioritize the needs of babies and their families in five key areas: maternal health, infant and early childhood mental health, child care, housing and economic security,” said  Miriam Calderón, Chief Policy Officer at ZERO TO THREE when the president’s budget was released on Monday. “And, in last week’s State of the Union address, the President laid out a path toward a future where families are empowered and have choices about their baby’s future. This proposed budget expands on this vision with proposals that address all facets of young children’s development.”  

The President’s budget proposes investments to support babies and strengthen families including:   

  • Funding affordable, high-quality child care for all young children birth to 6 for working families with incomes up to $200,000 per year.  
  • Reinstating the enhanced, fully refundable Child Tax Credit as enacted under the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act.  
  • Providing up to 12 weeks of paid leave for qualifying workers through a national, comprehensive paid family and medical leave program.  
  • Allowing state Medicaid programs to cover young children continuously from birth to age 6.  
  • Increasing investments in maternal health, including treatment for maternal mental health and substance use disorders.  
  • Fully funding the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).  

The President starts the budget process each year by sending a proposed budget to Congress. Yet, the path forward in Congress remains uncertain, given that Congress has only just completed action on all Fiscal Year 2024 spending bills following numerous delays and that this is an election year.  Congress has already begun work on the appropriations bills to fund the government in Fiscal Year 2025, which begins October 1, 2024 (learn more about how a bill becomes a law). As the State of Babies Yearbook makes clear, we urge Congress to prioritize the needs of infants and toddlers and their families and invest in programs that support their healthy development – using the President’s budget proposal as a starting point.  

See the table below for more information on past and proposed federal funding levels for key programs that ZERO TO THREE tracks, organized by ZERO TO THREE’s policy framework for what all children need: Good Health, Strong Families, and Positive Early Learning Experiences. The stringent budget caps agreed on between the President and Congress means many programs received level funding. Watch for updates as Congress moves through the funding process.

Click below to download the chart.

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