WASHINGTON D.C. - The Build Better Act is in the final stages of the legislative process in the senate. The bill includes provisions on childcare, universal preschool and extending the child tax credit.
The provision on childcare is meant to make it more accessible and affordable for parents. Senator Patty Murray, sponsor for the childcare provision, said we need to catch up to the rest of the world in this area.
"If we want our economy to work, if we want our families to be able to go to work and have that choice for themselves," Murray said. "We need to have a childcare system that is available and affordable."
This act would make it so families making less than $300 thousand a year would not pay more than seven percent of their income for childcare for children under six. It would also set money aside to build more childcare facilities and hire more childcare workers.
"I've spoken to parents who've driven an hour each way in the morning and afternoon to drop their child off at childcare facility," Murray said. "There isn't anything close to home. That's the whole problem we have right now - not enough childcare facilities themselves."
Senator Murray said it would also increase childcare worker's salaries so more people are motivated to do the job. This would be paid for by taxing the top 10 percent wealthiest people in the united states.
The act also talks about having universal preschool for three and four-year-olds. Preschool on average costs parents around 8,600 dollars per year.
Senator Murray said since she used to be a preschool teacher. She knows the importance of having early childhood education.
"You see a huge difference between kids with a quality early childhood education who start kindergarten," Murray said. "I have teachers who tell me that they have kindergarteners that come to school and don't know how to turn a page in a book, they don't know how to hold a pencil."
This legislation would also extend the child tax credit from the American Rescue Plan so parents in need would continue to get 300 a month for kids under six and 250 for kids six to 17.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, if passed, they estimate this legislation would increase the national deficit $367 billion between 2022 and 2031. However, this doesn't include additional revenue from additional funding for tax enforcement.