The Build Back Better Act: What Does It Mean for Early Education?

The Build Back Better Act has been the subject of much debate.  Passed by the House earlier this month, the proposed legislation contains over 100 pages related to early education.  Aspects of this bill hold the potential to transform America’s early education landscape.  Our friends at The Hunt Institute prepared a six-page Q&A summary called, “Childcare and Prekindergarten in The Build Back Better Act:  A Guide for Policymakers.”  This summary breaks down what policymakers and citizens need to know about this bill.  It should be noted that changes will likely be made prior to the bill’s passage in the Senate so this resource may be modified as the bill is debated.   

Some important things to know about this legislation: 

    • Families earning up to 250% of state median income and those whose children have certain vulnerabilities will be eligible for support. 
    • Benefits will become available between 2022 and 2025. 
    • The proposal will dramatically reduce the cost of childcare for most Americans 
    • Each state will create a plan describing how funds will be spent to increase the supply and quality of childcare in the state. 
    • Every state receiving benefits must have a quality rating system. 
    • Startup Grants, Quality Grants and Facilities Grants will be available as a method for states to improve access and quality. 
    • The bill proposes to create, over a period of years, a universal pre-k entitlement program for all 3- and 4-year-old children. 
    • Universal pre-k will build on, not replace states’ current pre-k programs. 
    • Universal pre-k will operate using a mixed-income model, meaning that both public and private providers will be eligible to receive funds. 
    • States must ensure that the universal pre-k model will not disrupt the availability of infant and toddler care and document how it will distribute new slots in order to protect the needs of private sector providers. 

Read the full summary here to learn MUCH MORE about what the Build Back Better Act will mean for children, families, teachers and programs.   



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