Early Learning and Child Care: Federal Funds Support Multiple Programs with Similar Goals. U.S. Government Accountability Office. February 5, 2014.
Millions of children under the age of 5 participate each year in federally funded preschool and other early learning programs or receive federally supported child care in a range of settings. Federal programs that funded early learning and child care as an explicit purpose received at least $14.2 billion in federal funding in fiscal year 2012. This testimony discusses existing federally funded programs that provide or support early learning or child care services for children and the extent to which these programs are administered by multiple federal agencies, have similar goals, or provide the same services. It is based on work done for GAO’s 2012 annual report on opportunities to reduce duplication, overlap, and fragmentation in federal government programs. In its 2012 report, GAO noted that Education and HHS needed to extend their coordination efforts to other agencies with early learning and child care programs. As of December 2013, the agencies had taken initial steps toward greater coordination but need to follow through with their plans to include these other federal agencies in an inter-departmental workgroup.
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