The Build Back Better Act: Increasing Affordability, Access, and Quality of Child Care for Infants and Toddlers

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The federal Build Back Better Act proposes a historic investment in the care of infants and toddlers that increases access and affordability by raising income eligibility levels in many states, capping family copayments, and setting provider reimbursement rates based on the cost (not price) of providing care. Research on the impact of the receipt of child care subsidies and state spending on subsidies show a positive impact on families’ access to needed services, the ability of parents to work, and families’ ability to have sufficient household resources.

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State leaders can significantly increase the number of children eligible for child care subsidies across the country by expanding income eligibility thresholds. The level of income at which a family becomes initially eligible for child
Barriers to health care, high-quality health insurance, and parental leave work together to leave families and children vulnerable during the perinatal period. These barriers can shape life-long outcomes, particularly for children from historically marginalized groups.
The issue of inadequate child care in Middle Tennessee not only affects working families but also poses a critical barrier to economic growth and workforce diversity. A lack of available and affordable child care prevents