Download PDF  

As part of President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, Congress is considering the Build Back Better Act with proposals aimed at creating jobs, providing tax relief to the middle-class, and lowering costs for working families. Lawmakers will use the budget reconciliation process to bypass a procedural hurdle in the Senate and pass the bill with a simple majority.

In August, both chambers of Congress adopted a concurrent resolution on the FY2022 budget providing instructions and establishing overall funding levels to guide Congressional committees as they craft their individual portions of the upcoming budget reconciliation package. In accordance with these instructions, the House Education and Labor Committee and House Ways and Means Committee advanced to the House Budget Committee proposals that include federal investments in child care and preschool, along with crucial enhancements to existing tax benefits for children and families.

On September 27, 2021, the House Budget Committee combined the various committee portions of the Build Back Better Act into H.R. 5376, and advanced the bill for consideration by the full House of Representatives. After continued negotiations between the White House and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate, on October 28, 2021, President Biden unveiled a framework for the final version of the Build Back Better Act for Congress to take up and pass into law. Subsequently, the House Rules Committee held a hearing on H.R. 5376 and shared an amended version of the legislation based on President Biden’s framework for the Committee’s consideration. On November 3, 2021, the Rules Committee shared a further amended version of the text.

The child care and preschool provisions in the revised Build Back Better Act (as released on November 3) would include federal funding to:

  • Make child care affordable for all families with children from birth through age 5 using a sliding scale for copayments in which families earning less than 75% of state median income (SMI) pay nothing and a limit of 7% of family income for families earning between 150 and 250% SMI.
    • $100 billion during the first 3 years ($24 billion in FY2022, $34 billion in FY2023, and $42 billion in FY2024) and such sums as may be necessary in FY2025-FY2027
    • For FY2023-2027:
  • $950 million annually for Birth through Five Child Care and Early Learning Grants to be awarded to localities in states that have not received payments under the entitlement program.
  • $2.85 billion annually to award grants to a Head Start agency in states that have not received payments under the entitlement program to carry out the purposes of the Head Start Act.
  • Guarantee access to high-quality, free, inclusive, and mixed-delivery preschool services available to all three- and four-year-old children on a voluntary basis.
    • $4 billion in FY2022, $6 billion in FY 2023, $8 billion in FY2024, and such sums as may be necessary in FY2025-2027
    • For FY2023-2027:
      • $1.9 billion annually for grants to localities in states that have not received payments under the universal preschool program.
      • $1.9 billion annually to award grants to a Head Start agency in states that have not received payments under the universal preschool program to carry out the purposes of the Head Start Act.
  • $2.5 billion annually for FY2022-2027 to improve compensation for Head Start staff.

The tax-related proposals include extending American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) changes to the Child Tax Credit (CTC) that make the CTC fully refundable, increase the amount of the credit, and allow for advance monthly payments.

The table below compares the early care and learning provisions included in the House Build Back Better Act from September 27, 2021 with the revised version of the bill released on November 3, 2021 following the release of the White House framework.



Download PDF