The final state budget for Fiscal Years (FY) 2014-15 maintained funding for the majority of early care and education programs at FY 13 post-rescission levels, with some small increases and decreases. Funding increased slightly for School Readiness in both Priority and Competitive School Districts, while School Based Health Centers received an additional $1.8 million in funding. The budget also included $0.43 million of new funding for mental health training of early childhood and elementary school professionals. However, Care4Kids funding decreased by $3.3 million in FY 14 and $0.75 million in FY 15 from the final FY 13 budget after rescissions. Funding for quality improvements for early care and education programs, which is spread over several different line items, increased slightly in two instances but decreased in another, for a net loss of approximately $0.2 million. Funding for state-funded child care centers, Head Start, Family Resource Centers, and Even Start remained constant.
The final budget shifted the majority of funding streams serving children aged 0-5 (including Care4Kids, School Readiness, state-funded child care centers, state Head Start, and child care licensing) from existing agencies to a new Office of Early Childhood. However, because the legislation that would have created this Office of Early Childhood was not enacted, it is unclear how this funding will be administered in the coming year.