Policy Resource

Statement Regarding President Trump’s 2018 Budget

May 23, 2017

The following statement regarding President Trump’s 2018 budget and the effect it will have on babies and families with young children may be attributed to Matthew Melmed, executive director, ZERO TO THREE:

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“The President’s budget aims to slash spending for domestic programs at levels not seen in 70 years and it turns its back on infants and toddlers. The negative results for families and our economy will last a lifetime.

The unprecedented cuts to Medicaid, nutrition and discretionary programs on which vulnerable families rely mean that babies and toddlers will not get off to the strong start they need to succeed. Slashing these programs actually undermines the work efforts of many families already striving to provide for their families. When these cuts are combined with a lack of real investment in child care and Early Head Start, the implications are profound, both now and in the future.

Research shows that a baby’s brain makes more than one million neural connections every second, laying the groundwork for all future learning and development. When babies don’t get what their growing brains need to thrive, they don’t develop as they should, leading to life-long developmental, educational, social, and health challenges.

This budget both undermines basic needs for healthy development and misses a golden opportunity. The annual rate of return on quality child care for disadvantaged children from birth to age five is 13.7 percent annually, which is delivered through better education, health, social and economic outcomes for children lasting into adulthood. It is a proven performer that improves the security of our nation by supporting its future generation of workers, leaders and innovators. Not investing in programs that promote healthy brain development only diminishes the opportunities for those on the front lines of our nation in the years to come.

Fortunately, Congress ultimately makes the decision about what is funded and what is not. ZERO TO THREE is heartened by the long history of bipartisan Congressional support for these essential programs – including Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representatives Tom Cole (R-OK) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT). We look forward to working with them and their Senate and House colleagues through the Congressional budget process to ensure that babies and toddlers are not left behind.”

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