Budget and policy decisions at the federal level have a deep impact at home in Pennsylvania. Improving the early care and education system at the national level will result in improvements in the commonwealth too. Read below for updates and information about our federal policy and advocacy work.
Federal Public Policy
Position Statements on Federal Policies can be found here.
The American Families Plan
The American Families Plan will invest $225 billion in child care to:
- Make child care affordable by providing direct support to families to ensure low and middle-income families pay no more than 7 percent of their income on high-quality child care for children under 5 years-old, saving the average family $14,800 per year on child care expenses.
- Invest in high-quality child care by providing funding to child care providers to cover the true cost of quality early childhood care and education.
- Invest in the child care workforce which will mean a $15 minimum wage for early childhood staff and ensure that those with similar qualifications as kindergarten teachers receive comparable compensation and benefits. It also ensured child care workers receive job-embedded coaching and professional development, along with additional training opportunities funded by the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan.
The proposal also includes an investment of $200 billion in mixed delivery, high-quality pre-k, including the same teacher wage requirements. The White House Fact Sheet on the American Families Plan can be found here. NAEYC’s statement on the American Families Plan can be found here.
The American Jobs Plan
The American Jobs Plan will invest $25 billion to upgrade child care facilities and build new supply in high need areas. The Child Care Growth and Innovation Fund would allow states to build a supply of infant and toddler care in high-need areas. The White House Fact Sheet on the American Jobs Plan can be found here.
The American Rescue Plan
The American Rescue Plan included $24 billion for child care stabilization, $15 billion for the Child Care Development Block Grant, and $3.55 billion in the Child Care Entitlement to States. Pennsylvania was awarded $1.18 billion through the stabilization and CCDBG funds and $18 million through the entitlement. The American Rescue Plan also temporarily expanded the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC). It makes the credit refundable for one year so that families with low and moderate incomes can benefit. The expanded CDCTC is worth a maximum of $4,000 for one child or dependent, and $8,000 for two or more children or dependents for tax year 2021. Families with incomes above $500,000 will not be eligible for the credit.
Go here to read the ARP Provider and Family Forums Themes and Recommendations from the Start Strong PA campaign.
The President’s Budget for FFY 2022
President Biden released his budget for FFY 2022 in May, which began with the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan, which were released in March and April 2021. The full proposal includes increases in early care and education programs. The White House Fact Sheet can be found here for additional details. Below are key proposed increases:
- Child Care and Development Block Grant – $7.4 billion; which is a $1.5 billion increase
- Head Start and Early Head Start - $11.9 billion; which is a $1.2 billion increase. This is including $1.8 billion for the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships program; which is a $905 million increase
- Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five - $450 million; which is a $175 million increase
- IDEA Part C Grants for Infants and Families - $732 million; which is a $250 million increase
Proposals PennAEYC Supports and is Tracking
The Child Care for Working Families Act
The Child Care for Working Families Act is comprehensive legislation to address the child care crisis and ensure that working families can find and afford high-quality child care. Senator Casey introduced the bill with Senator Murray and Senator Hirono.
The Child Care for Working Families Act would address the current child care crisis in four ways:
- Capping costs for working families
- Improving the quality and supply of child care for all children
- Expanding access to high-quality preschool programs
- Supporting higher wages for child care workers
The Child Care is Infrastructure Act
The Child Care is Infrastructure Act was introduced in the House. The bill authorizes $35 million for student loan repayment for early childhood educators working for providers receiving CCDBG funding and providing up to $3,000 to eligible students pursuing a CDA Credential or an associate's degree. The bill would also reauthorize the Child Care Access Means Parents in School, which funds campus-based child care at higher education institutions. The Act also establishes grant programs for states to address renovations to child care facilities and includes $10 billion to invest in child care infrastructure. PennAEYC and our partners will be following this bill and keep you updated.
The Building Child Care for a Better Future Act
The Build Child Care for a Better Future Act allocates mandatory funding to build child care availability over the long term and treat child care as critical infrastructure for families. Senator Casey introduced the bill with Senators Warren (D-Mass.), Wyden (D-Ore.), Brown (D-Ohio) and Smith (D-Minn.). It will increase annual funding for the Child Care Entitlement to States to provide grants to improve child care supply, quality and access in areas of need. A fact sheet can be found here.
National Early Care and Education Federal Policy Resources
- National Association for the Education of Young Children
- America for Early Ed
- Child Care Aware of America
- Center for Law and Social Policy Child Care and Early Education
- Early Care and Education Consortium
- National Child Care Association
- National Women’s Law Center
- New America Foundation Early Education Initiative
U.S. Health and Human Services