Congresswomen Brenda Lawrence and Debbie Dingell read to Metro Detroit preschoolers Monday to highlight the importance of investing in early childhood education.

U.S. Speaker of the House Katherine Clark joined the congresswomen in support of the Build Back Better Act.

"The Build Back Better Act is going to go a long way to making a difference for our communities to strengthen our early education system," Clark said.

The $1.75 trillion spending bill focuses on expanding affordable health care, combatting climate change, and making the largest investment in childcare in history.

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"Three to four million women have had to leave the workforce because there’s no childcare," Dingell said.

The bill would also make universal preschool free for all 3- and 4-year-old children.

"One of the hugest discrepancies with early childhood education is the pay compared to primary education," said Jessica Moore, with Wayne Metro Early Headstart.

She said it is important to pay staff what they are worth and equip them with the resources needed to provide young children with the tools to succeed.

"Most brain development happens before children are 5 years old," Moore said. "The work we do in these classrooms daily with the children, it's needed to really set that foundation as they continue to go through the other schools years."

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