While the path to passing the Build Back Better (BBB) Act has come with its fair share of challenges and setbacks, there is still momentum in Congress to pass the investments in affordable, high-quality child care and mixed-delivery preschool.
Just before the new year, there was hope of the U.S. Senate passing the BBB Act in December 2021. Ultimately, there were still numerous points of contention over items in the bill and a favorable vote was not yet feasible. Some of the debate included extending the Child Tax Credit program through the BBB Act, which expired at the end of 2021 because no agreement was reached. Because there has been so much debate on the specifics of the proposed early learning investments within the BBB Act, CCAoA has put together a document of tough questions regarding the child care and preschool provisions to clear up some confusion.
From what we understand, congressional and White House leaders remain committed to moving the package forward, and talks on how to do so are ongoing. Senate leadership is currently planning to bring the package to a floor vote in early 2022. There has been some discussion of new strategies to pass the package through the Senate, such as breaking it up into smaller pieces. But because Congress is using the Budget Reconciliation process – which allows approval by a simple majority but has limitations in terms of scope and the number of bills that can go through that process – questions remain. While it is not yet certain how the provisions in the BBB Act will move forward, it is critical to note that this legislation remains a priority in Congress.
There are several steps ahead of us:
While this uncertainty may be discouraging for child care and early learning advocates, there is still a path ahead that includes meaningful investments that will lower child care and preschool costs for families and raise wages for providers, due to the tireless work of this community. It is not too late to contact your Senator and ask that they pass the BBB Act. CCAoA remains hopeful that our continued advocacy will pay off for our nation’s children and families.
CCAoA will continue to provide updates about the Build Back Better Act.