Connecting Communities | December 2021
In addition to the focus on unique programs and services offered to Chicago communities, Marillac St. Vincent values advocacy initiatives that provide residents with the power to share their voice. The current Build Back Better (BBB) Framework, a major legislation from the Biden Administration of over $2 Trillion, has made the news in recent months for good reason. The Framework will not only create better paying jobs, it will combat climate change, giving us cleaner air and water, and provide internet access for all. And, the biggest impact by far for the Marillac St. Vincent organization and community is greater access to childcare and funds for early childhood development and education.
MSV CEO Peter Beale-DelVecchio spoke with Fox News Chicago on the impact of the BBB Framework. See the interview below along with the main highlights of the bill as it relates to the MSV Community and Children and Families of Illinois. Stay connected with Marillac St. Vincent to learn about the updates of the legislation and its impact.
Watch the Full Interview with Fox News Chicago and Peter Below:
Highlights from CEO Peter Beale-DelVecchio:
The BBB Framework has passed in the House but still must get through the senate. We are hopeful that it will get passed either by the end of the year or early 2022. Once passed, the funding would come to the state of Illinois and trickle down to organizations like Marillac St. Vincent.
One of the main focuses for MSV is providing quality before and after school care to children to enable working parents throughout our community to have peace of mind regarding their child’s education and development. The BBB Framework is going to be transformative for families in Illinois, particularly working families. As we know with our work, quality early childhood education is incredibly important for building the foundation for development and setting the trajectory of where a child can go, since 90% of the brain development happens by 5 years of age. This BBB Framework will help make childcare for these families and kids more affordable and accessible.
The other issue we face with early childhood education is the teacher shortage. We need more teachers in early education and need to keep them in the field because continuity of care is essential for a child’s development. This bill hopes to attract more teachers to early education and teaching in general, which will have a long-lasting impact on an organization like Marillac St. Vincent and the community we serve.
Specifically, for the children and families of Illinois that Marillac St. Vincent serve, the bill will provide:
- Greater Access to Childcare for more than 755,000 kids ages 0-5 per year for families earning under 2.5 times the state median income. The BBB Framework will ensure these families pay no more than 7% of their income on high-quality mix-delivery childcare.
- Universal, High-Quality Pre-School for every 3- and 4-year-old. Right now, in Illinois only 20% of the more than 300,000 3- and 4-year-olds have access to publicly funded pre-school. And for those who can’t access publicly funded programs, the cost is more than $8,000/year.
- It will expand access to free, high-quality preschool to more than 250,000 additional 3- and 4-year-olds per year and increase the quality of preschool for those already enrolled.
- More importantly, parents will be able to send their children to the preschool setting of their choice whether public schools, community based, homecare childcare providers or Head Start.
- Nutritious Food Options to the more than 10% of children living in food insecure households in Illinois by expanding access to free school meals to an additional 325,000 students and providing more than 1,100,000 students with resources to purchase food over the summer.
- Extending the Child Tax Credit by at least a year so that the neediest families continue to receive the full Child Tax Credit. In 2020 alone, this credit cut overall child poverty in America by 25%.
Click here for more information from the US Government on the Build Back Better Framework. In addition to what is mentioned above, the framework of the bill also includes:
- Four weeks of federal paid parental, sick or caregiver leave
- Expanded healthcare coverage and lower costs
- More affordable access to higher education
- Investment in job training programs that prepare Illinois workers for jobs in public health, childcare, IT, clean energy and manufacturing.
- Reduced housing costs while increasing housing options by expanding rental assistance and increasing the supply of affordable housing units.
- Climate change initiatives to help the US meet its climate targets - a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below 2005 levels by 2030 in a way that creates good paying jobs, grows domestic industries, and advances environmental justice.
Interested in ways to Advocate for Early Childhood Care in your Community?
Learn more about the advocacy resources in Chicago from Marillac St. Vincent.