(Washington, D.C.) In a letter to House and Senate leadership, a nationwide coalition of over 300 early learning and child care providers, advocates, and organizations are calling on Congress to pass the Build Back Better Act published by the White House last week.
“This is the moment where we take the closest step yet to realizing the first-ever early care and education guarantee. It’s time to set families up for success and set up early care and education to be a valued and highly desired, long-term career path – our economic prosperity depends on it. We look forward to working with you to enact and implement these policies across the United States.”
The letter acknowledges the historic opportunity Congress has to expand access to child care and pre-kindergarten, coming nearly fifty years after President Richard Nixon vetoed a major plan passed by Congress to support the child care industry and bring affordable, high-quality child care to millions nationwide.
If passed into law, the Build Back Better Act would:
- Provide universal and free preschool for all 3- and 4-year-olds, the largest expansion of universal and free education since states and communities across the country established public high school 100 years ago.
- Enable states to expand access to free preschool for more than 6 million children per year and increase the quality of preschool for many more children already enrolled.
- Make the largest investment in child care in the nation’s history, saving most working American families more than half of their spending on child care.
- Ensure that the vast majority of working American families of four earning less than $300,000 per year will pay no more than 7 percent of their income on child care for children under 6.
- Parents who are working, looking for work, participating in an education or training program, and who are making under 2.5 times their state’s median income will receive support to cover the cost of quality care based on a sliding scale, capped at 7% of their income.