Peoria leaders say ‘Build Back Better’ plan will help local parents fund universal pre-k

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — President Joe Biden is shifting his focus to a nearly $2-trillion social spending plan after the infrastructure package passed in Congress Friday night.

The current version of the “Build Back Better” plan includes money for climate change, prescription drug cost reform, and universal preschool. In Peoria, leaders at the Tri-County Urban League said it would help their daycare program.

“We are actually looking to expand even more than that because there is a need in the community,” said Urban League President Dr. Dawn Harris-Jeffries. “We get calls every day from mothers who want to bring their children to daycare, and they want to bring them here.”

Harris-Jeffries said they currently offer childcare for up to 30 kids, but she said they’re hoping to grow the program to 46 children to meet high demand. She said money from the bill would make it possible.

She also believes it’s going to help parents who are looking to go back to work get the childcare help they need.

“The Tri-County Urban League and the Peoria County, our Tri-County area, we need these funds. Our children need these funds. Our parents, the moms, and dads, they need the funds so that they can build the skills to build our country back better,” said Harris-Jeffries.

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL) said Monday that the bill could be passed as early as next week.

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