Last week, First Focus released their Children’s Budget for 2018. The annual report analyzes and documents historical funding data and spending trends across a wide range of children’s policy areas including child welfare, early childhood, education, health, housing, income support, nutrition, safety and training tracking federal investments in nearly 200 different programs.

Some of the key points included in the volume are that children receive a smaller “piece of the federal [budget] pie” today than they did five years ago with the share of total federal spending on children declining by 1.7 percent since FY 2014 (from 8.20 percent to 8.06 percent) this was despite some recent increases due to this year’s budget deal when the share of total federal spending on children rose 1.1 percent from FY 2017 (when it was 7.97 percent).

Other key points made in the report:

• In FY 2018, the federal government spent 7.7 percent of its budget on the interest on the national debt –nearly as much as the 8.06 percent it spent on children. The Urban Institute estimates federal spending on interest on the debt will surpass all federal investments on children in FY 2020
• If enacted, the President’s FY 2019 Budget Proposal would have eliminated 41 programs serving children and cut numerous others, reducing the share of spending on kids to 6.89 percent
• The Budget Control Act of 2011 (PL 112-25) cap on non-defense discretionary spending will drop $55 billion (from $597 billion to $542 billion) in FY 2020—jeopardizing gains under the Bipartisan Budget Act.
The new Congress will have to deal with the old budget caps that were temporarily lifted this year. With the annual deficit expected to reach over $1 trillion next year, there will be heat on domestic spending—especially children’s programs, especially child welfare spending. To get a copy of the budget book go to Children’s Budget Book: