Breaking Down the Build Back Better Act

November 01, 2021

On Thursday, October 28, President Biden announced a new framework for the Build Back Better Act, which includes $400 billion for child care and early learning investments over the next 6 years. If the Build Back Better Act is signed into law, it will dramatically transform the child care and early learning system for nearly every family with young children, as well as for child care providers.  


What does the Build Back Better Act Mean for Families?

  • These new investments will pave the way for free high-quality universal preschool for all 3- and 4-year-old children.  
  • Parents will be able to send children to the preschool setting of their choice – whether it’s a licensed child care provider or local public school.  
  • Families earning up to 250% of state median income, their child care costs will be limited to no more than 7% of their income. Learn more. Learn more.

What Does the Build Back Better Act Mean For Child Care Providers? 

  • This federal funding will ensure that states increase compensation and invest in the supply and quality of child care.  
  • Investments will support a child care system that includes family child care homes and child care centers.  
  • Universal preschool will also include a mixed-delivery system, with a distribution among eligible providers, including Head Start, schools, and both center-based and family child care. 

Most policies in the Build Back Better framework remain unchanged from September, including the lead role that child care resource and referral agencies can play in administering quality and supply-building investments. Learn more. 

The Timeline 

In the coming weeks, the House and Senate must agree on and pass the same bill, which will then head to President Biden for his signature. If President Biden signs this legislation into law, implementation of the program would begin immediately. States would then need to develop an application that includes a transitional plan. Federal funding will be provided beginning in FY 2022 (which began on October 1, 2021 and ends September 30, 2022) to support state’s efforts to build child care supply and phase-in expanded family eligibility.  

What Can You Do? 

It is critical to make your voice heard now. Use CCAoA’s action alert to contact your Representatives and Senators and urge Congress to pass the Build Back Better Act. Families and child care providers across the country cannot wait. These robust investments represent a historic opportunity to create long-lasting, meaningful changes that will directly impact all communities. 

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Topics: Policy & Advocacy

Christina Koch

Written by Christina Koch

Christina Koch is currently the Federal Policy Analyst at Child Care Aware of America. Her background is in federal and state education policy and she also has experience providing direct social services to children and families. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Communication from American University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, where she was awarded the Julee Kryder-Coe Award for Advocacy and Social Action. She is originally from Cape Cod, Massachusetts.