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$3.5 trillion bill spends big on ineffective and unpopular preschool and childcare programs

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The $3.5 trillion “reconciliation” spending bill containing the Biden Administration’s “Build Back Better” plan is making its way through Congress. The measure contains unprecedented new federal education spending, including universal preschool for all three- and four-year-old children, and expanded childcare subsidies capping what families pay at no more than 7 percent of their income. These two provisions alone come with an estimated $450 billion price tag. Massive new federal preschool and childcare programs will not serve American families well. Not only is there scant evidence of long-term cognitive improvements among children who participate in preschool programs, but distantly managed, center-based childcare and pre-K programs are not the type of early childhood education and care that most parents want. (author abstract)

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