Finding and affording quality child care & early learning options should never be a burden that prevents a parent from being able to work. Yet for years, the high cost of quality care and the limited supply across the country have created insurmountable challenges for too many families.

We have an opportunity to change that.

Now is the time to build a child care system that works for the families who need it.

With meaningful investment and reforms, we can:

  • Ensure all families who need it can afford high-quality preschool and child care;
  • Build up the nation’s supply of quality child care so families have options that meet their needs;
  • Further improve the quality of care in America to ensure all families have access to options that support their children’s healthy development;
  • Address longstanding, systemic challenges facing America’s child care providers so they can attract, retain, and support quality early childhood educators and caregivers.

For years, Democrats and Republicans in Washington have worked together on meaningful child care and early learning solutions for working families. And governors from Red and Blue states alike have been at the forefront of expanding child care and preschool opportunities, often in partnership with the federal government.

As the Biden administration undertakes a historic effort to stimulate the economy through a major infrastructure package and a sweeping reform proposal to significantly and sustainably expand access to and the quality of child care and early learning, there can be no doubt that an investment to build up a thriving child care market with supports for working parents will be central to our nation’s economic success.

Current Proposals with Major Reforms & Investments in Child Care & Early Learning

There is tremendous momentum in Washington for early learning and care, driven by near-unanimous support among voters across the political spectrum, years of progress made through consistent bipartisan cooperation among federal policymakers, and an ever-deepening understanding about the crucial role early learning plays in the near- and longterm success of children and families.

Already this year there has been unprecedented attention – and action – on child care and early learning in our nation’s capital. With the introduction of multiple bills and proposals with sweeping reforms and investments in America’s child care system, in addition to bipartisan cooperation highlighting the essential role child care plays for families and our economy during Senate and House committee hearings and child care and early learning’s starring role in President Biden’s first Joint Address to Congress, there has never been a brighter spotlight on opportunities to address the needs of America’s youngest learners, their families, and the providers who care for them.

American Jobs Plan

In March, the White House released the details of President Biden’s first major infrastructure proposal, the American Jobs Plan. Alongside investments in highways and bridges, water systems and electrical grids, the proposal includes $25 billion to upgrade child care facilities and expands a tax credit for businesses to build child care at places of work. Designed to “reimagine and rebuild a new economy,” the infrastructure proposal underscores the fact that America’s economy cannot recover successfully without a meaningful, sustained investment in building up a system of care for working families.

American Families Plan

In April, 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 & early learning in America. The president is proposing to provide a $225 billion investment to address the child care needs of families and providers, $220 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 Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (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.

Child Care for Working Families Act

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA) have re-introduced the Child Care for Working Families Act (CCWFA), comprehensive legislation that would address access, affordability, and quality in early learning and care. The bill would ensure that no low- or middle-income family spends more than 7% of their income on child care, address longstanding challenges for early childhood educators, including low wages, and would invest in increasing the supply of quality child care in communities, while making other important quality improvements to existing programs. It is estimated that the bill would create at least 2.3 million jobs: 700,000 in the early education profession and 1.6 million parents returning to the labor force as a direct result of greater access to child care, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Building an Economy for Families Act

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) unveiled the Building an Economy for Families Act, a bill with a variety of provisions aimed at greatly expanding access to high-quality child care and early learning opportunities for working families who need it by increasing mandatory funding for the Child Care Entitlement to States program to $10 billion per year and making permanent the recent expansion of the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) under the American Rescue Plan.

Universal Child Care and Early Learning Act

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Congressman Mondaire Jones (D-NY) reintroduced the Universal Child Care and Early Learning Act, which aims to ensure that every family has access to high-quality, affordable child care and early learning opportunities by establishing a network of federally-supported, locally administered child care options.

POLLING: Child Care & Early Learning is Smart Policy AND Smart Politics

There is overwhelming bipartisan support among voters nationally and in key electoral swing states for a wide range of federal child care & early learning policy proposals that already have the backing of many Democratic and Republican policymakers in Washington, including the elements of the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan. Without question, American voters understand that child care is essential – for families, and the economy – and they want to see their lawmakers work together with the Biden administration to find solutions that work for working parents. Learn more.

Latest American Families Plan Updates