Because Childhood Lasts a Lifetime.

A Message from Dr. Merrick on Investing in Children & Families through the Build Back Better Act

Statements & Messages

Prevent Child Abuse America supports the following historic investments in families included in the Build Back Better Act.

  • Affordable high-quality childcare: the act helps states expand access to millions of children per year and makes early learning options affordable for all families. Investing in high-quality childcare is one of the most effective ways to break the cycle of poverty, boost our economy, and keep parents employed while ensuring children develop the skills they need for success in school and life.
  • Universal preschool: the act expands access to high-quality preschool for two additional years during a critical period of child development. Access to preschool and family engagement programs are shown to positively impact children’s cognitive and social skills and school achievement, and decrease conduct problems, as well as reduce child abuse and neglect.
  • The child tax credit (CTC): the act extends the child tax credit through 2022 and makes full refundability permanent. Already, the expanded CTC has reached 36 million families across the country and lifted 3 million children out of poverty, providing much-needed support for parents struggling to put food on the table, pay mortgage or rent, and make ends meet.
  • Paid family & medical leave: the act provides payments for eligible people who take leave from work due to a serious health condition, care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition, birth or adoption of a child, or the foreign deployment of a family member in the armed forces. Paid family and medical leave generate substantial health benefits for children and families, including promoting health equity, higher rates of maternal health, lower rates of family stressors, reductions in hospitalizations for abusive head trauma, and allowing employees to meet their personal and family health care needs while fulfilling work responsibilities.

Each of these initiatives provide important resources that strengthen families and aid in the prevention of child abuse and neglect. For too long in our nation’s history, these programs have been inaccessible for far too many. These policy objectives are within our reach, and now is the time to level the playing field for children and families through the adoption of such programs.

We must work together to support and pass these transformative investments in children and families in the Build Back Better Act. They are essential to ensure that children, families, and entire communities thrive—today, tomorrow, and for generations to come. Please join us in our advocacy efforts in support of these programs by linking to our easy-to-use action alert, and contacting your member of Congress today.

Together, we CAN prevent child abuse, America—because childhood lasts a lifetime.




Dr. Melissa Merrick
President & CEO

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