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Over 160 National and State Child Advocacy Groups Call on Democratic Leaders to Prioritize Child Care & Early Learning Funding in Reconciliation

News July 28, 2021

WASHINGTON –  As Congress grapples with many important and competing priorities, more than 160 national, state, and local organizations and child care providers, led by First Five Years Fund (FFYF), wrote to Democratic Congressional leaders with a clear message: Congress must include and pass significant, sustained funding to address the systemic problems facing our child care and early learning structure as part of the upcoming budget reconciliation package. The letter was sent to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, along with the chairs of relevant Congressional committees, including Senate Budget Committee Chair Bernie Sanders, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chair Patty Murray, Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, House Budget Committee Chair John Yarmouth, House Education and Labor Committee Chair Bobby Scott, and House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal.

From the letter: 

“The pandemic brought to light the essential nature of child care in our country, while also revealing profound flaws in the system.The bottom line is that America’s existing child care market is unsustainable. Most parents can’t afford the high cost of care, while too many Americans live in areas without access to quality care options at all. Addressing these present and ongoing challenges requires a comprehensive approach to securing ample child care supply and capacity, while ensuring there are quality options available for families. Federal relief funding was critical to ensuring the survival of child care, but it will not address its longstanding instability… Now is the time to address these pervasive flaws in the fabric of the American economy by investing in a high-quality system of early care and education to support families, businesses, and the workforce.”

The letter goes on to outline key areas Congress must address in the upcoming reconciliation package to ensure quality child care is affordable and available for families with young children:

  • Ensure parents have access to quality child care and preschool options that support children from birth through kindergarten by providing significant investments in the stability of a mixed-delivery system that includes center-based and family child care, PreK programs, and Head Start.
  • Increase the supply of early care and education programs by investing in the construction and improvement of child care facilities.
  • Increase affordability for families paying for care by investing in child care subsidies and enhancing the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC).

Read the full letter, including specific actions that can be taken to address these key areas.

Earlier this year, the White House unveiled the details of President Biden’s American Families Plan, which includes a sweeping reform proposal to significantly and sustainably expand access to and the quality of child care and early learning in America. The president is proposing a $225 billion investment to address the child care needs of families and providers, $200 billion to expand voluntary preschool access to all 3- and 4-year-olds, and a permanent extension of recent improvements from the American Rescue Plan to various tax credits, including to the CDCTC, among other provisions to help working parents and young children. These investments and tax credits reinforce the benefits of a strong mixed-delivery system that prioritizes parent choice, both in whether to utilize non-parental care, but also in determining the type and setting of care that best meets their needs. 

Underscoring the bipartisan nature of addressing the nation’s longstanding child care challenges, FFYF’s national polling shows overwhelming support among Republican and Democratic voters nationally and in key electoral swing states for a wide range of federal early learning and care policy proposals, including increased federal funding for child care, expanded access to preschool, and child care tax credits for working parents. This indicates huge electoral advantages and virtually no political downside for lawmakers to support many of the policies included in this legislation.

The list of organizations joining the letter includes: 

Acelero Learning 

Advance Illinois 

Advocates for Children of New Jersey (ACNJ) 

Alabama Partnership for Children 

Alaska Children’s Trust 

Alaska Children’s Trust (ACT) 

Alliance for Early Success 

America Forward 

Association of Illinois Montessori Schools (AIMS) 

Big Blue Marble Academy (BBMA) 

Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) 

Bright Horizons 

Cadence Education 

California Child Care Resource & Referral Network 

Center for American Progress (CAP) 

Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) 

Child Care Action Council (CCAC) 

Child Care Aware of Washington (CCA of WA) 

Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) 

Child Care Resources 

Child Care Services Association/T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center (CCSA/National Center) 

Childcare Network 


Children Now 

Children’s Alliance 

Children’s Campaign Fund (CCF) 

Children’s Home & Aid 

Children’s Home Society of Washington (CHSW) 

Children’s Advocacy Alliance (CAA) 

Children’s Institute 

Clayton Early Learning

Colorado Children’s Campaign 

Community Organizing and Family Issues (COFI) 

Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance (CECA) 

Council for a Strong America 

Council for Professional Recognition 

Early Care and Education Consortium (ECEC) 

Early Learning NH 

Early Opportunities

East Boston Social Centers  

Economic Opportunity Institute 

Educare Learning Network 

Edward Street 

Endeavor Schools 

First 5 Fox Valley 

First Children’s Finance 

First Five Nebraska (FFN) 

First Five Years Fund (FFYF) 

Fond du Lac Area United Way  

Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS) 

Great Rivers United Way (GRUW) 

Groundwork Ohio 

Illinois Association for the Education of Young Children (Illinois AEYC) 

Illinois Collaboration on Youth (ICOY) 

Illinois Head Start Association (IHSA) 

Illinois National Association for the Education of Young Children (INAEYC) 


Kansas Action for Children (KAC) 

Kaplan Early Learning Company  

Kiddie Academy Educational Child Care 

Kids Win Missouri 

KinderCare Education 

Kingsley House 

Learning Care Group (LCG) 

Learning Starts At Birth, Bank Street College  

Let’s Grow Kids (LGK) 

Louisiana Policy Institute for Children (LPIC) 

Main Street Alliance-Wisconsin (MSAWI) 

Maine Association for the Education of Young Children (MaineAEYC) 

Maine Children’s Alliance 

Maryland Family Network (MFN) 

Minnesota Child Care Association (MCCA) 

National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) 

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) 

National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) 

National Workforce Registry Alliance (NWRA) 

NC Child  

Neighborhood House 

New Futures 

New Horizon Academy (NHA) 

Ohio Association of Child Care Providers (OACCP) 

Old School Academies 

One Hope United (OHU) 

Oshkosh Area United Way 

Parents Leading for Educational Equity (PLEE) 

Parents Organized to Win, Educate and Renew – Policy Action Council Illinois  


Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children 

Primrose Schools 

Rhode Island Association for the Education of Young Children (RIAEYC) 

Rhode Island KIDS COUNT 

Right from the Start Campaign (Rhode Island) 


Save the Children 

Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy 

SEIU Healthcare Illinois 

Start Early 

Strategies for Children (SFC) 

Sunrise Preschools 

Teaching Strategies 

The Connecticut Association for Human Services (CAHS) 

The Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (INCCRRA) 

The Malvern School 

The Registry, Inc.  

The Wisconsin Partnership 

United Migrant Opportunity Services (UMOS) 

United Way Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County (UWGMWC) 

United Way Manitowoc County, Inc. 

United Way of Dane County (UWDC) 

United Way of Dodge County 

United Way of Dunn County 

United Way of Kenosha County (UWKC) 

United Way of Northern Ozaukee 

United Way of Salt Lake (UWSL) 

United Way of Sheboygan County (UWSC) 

United Way of the Greater Chippewa Valley (UWGCV) 

United Way of Wisconsin 

Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF) 

Virginia Promise Partnership  

Voices for Utah Children 

Voices for Vermont’s Children 

Voices for Virginia’s Children 

Washington Federation of Independent Schools (WFIS) 

Washington State Association of Head Start and ECEAP 

Washington State Community Action Partnership (WSCAP) 

Washington State Parent Ambassadors (WSPA) 

Wellspring Family Services

Wisconsin Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (WIAAP) 

Wisconsin Early Childhood Association (WECA) 

Women’s Fund of Rhode Island 

YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago 

Zero to Five Montana  


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