Child Care & Early Education Reconciliation Proposal Could Reach 1 Million+ Children
By Stephanie Schmit and Alycia Hardy
An estimated 1 million+ children could benefit from the child care and early education proposal recently released by U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) for inclusion in the federal budget reconciliation package. The new framework, which includes $72 billion in additional Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) funds, will provide direct support to children and families and build up the supply of child care, including by investing in the child care workforce. The resources will be distributed to every state and territory. States can use these investments to address the nation’s ongoing child care crisis and expand access to child care and preschool. Through the additional investments in CCDBG alone, we estimate more than 1 million new children and their families, who currently do not have access to affordable care, could be reached.
These funds would lower costs and expand access for families, increase the supply of quality providers, and raise wages for early educators. In addition to the $72 billion investment in CCDBG, the proposal includes funding to create a pilot program that would expand child care assistance; increase access to preschool and Head Start; and raise Head Start teacher wages. Through the pilot program, states would have the opportunity to further expand access and affordability to reach families with higher incomes and cap families’ child care expenses at 7 percent of annual income—the federally established benchmark for affordable child care. The investments in preschool and the pilot program would both offer access to affordable child care and early education for numerous additional children above and beyond those outlined in this analysis.
The $72 billion in additional CCDBG funding is allocated over 6 years at $12 billion per year—with $9 billion annually to expand access to families and $3 billion annually for child care workforce compensation and supply building. The following table provides state-by-state estimates1 of allocations of the CCDBG funding and the potential number of children who could be served.