Tuesday, January 18, 2022

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Build Back Better Would Amplify New York's Child Care, Pre-K Investments

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Monday, November 22, 2021   

ALBANY, N.Y. -- The $1.7 trillion Build Back Better Act now moves to the Senate where it will face an uphill battle after passing the House Friday.

New York family advocates say it's critical for the social safety-net package to be delivered to President Joe Biden. The legislation will invest in child care for 1 million New York children age five and younger, reducing the average annual cost of family income to no more than 7%.

Dede Hill, director of policy at the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy in Albany, said the major investment in early childhood education under Build Back Better added to the groundwork already laid through public pre-K programs in New York City and elsewhere in the state.

"This is going to be a real opportunity for our three- and four-year-olds all over New York to have access to high-quality pre-K," Hill explained. "And for their families to also have the whole continuum of care and have access to child care for their babies and toddlers."

If passed, nearly 300,000 more three- and four-year-olds in the state will access pre-school for free. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said he wants to pass Build Back Better by Christmas.

Under the bill, the Child Tax Credit would be expanded for another year. Pete Nabozny of Rochester-based The Children's Agenda said the city has one of the highest poverty rates in New York as well as the nation. He said the Child Tax Credit will sustain families in Rochester and throughout the state with help to pay bills and buy groceries.

"The continuation of this child tax credit means that the cut to child poverty that we saw over the course of last year because of this temporary expansion will at least continue for another year," Hill pointed out. "Families will have that support to help them pay their bills and make ends meet and be able to care for the children."

More than 3.3 million children in New York received the monthly Child Tax Credit in Oct., providing $3.3 billion dollars to New York families between July and October.


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