With the Build Back Better bill stalled in the Senate, many historic gains for children and families are now in jeopardy, including the proposed investments in child care and early education. The National Women’s Law Center, in partnership with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and other national organizations, has distributed a sign-on letter detailing the need for support for the childcare system and urging Congress to prioritize the passage of the bill.
The letter begins: “Child care and pre-kindergarten (pre-K) are foundational supports for families and the American economy that have been under-resourced for far too long and nearly decimated by the pandemic. We write to underscore the urgency of passing Build Back Better’s investments in affordable, quality child care and mixed-delivery pre-K to lower costs for families and raise wages for providers. These investments – together with home and community based services, paid leave, and the child tax credit – form a “care infrastructure” that supports both families and the economy overall.”
The letter continues, detailing precisely how the Build Back Better bill would help families and workers. It would:
- Lower child care costs for nine out of ten families with young children and make it free for many
- Guarantee high quality child care choices for parents by expanding the supply of safe, nurturing options particularly for infants and toddlers and including faith-based and family child care providers
- Create and support millions of jobs, including for early educators and parents
- Raise the wages of early educators—95 percent of whom are women and disproportionately women of color—to at least a living wage, with wages comparable to elementary school educators for those with similar credentials
- Provide universal pre-kindergarten for three and four year olds in diverse settings that meet families’ needs; and
- Support children’s healthy development, ensuring that—regardless of economic status, race, zip code, language or ability—all children have a strong foundation.
Both individuals and organizations can sign on to the letter in support of this advocacy effort.
There is an option to include a personal story about the legislation’s impact, if applicable. To add your name, visit this website.