WASHINGTON, D.C. (WRIC) — Two Virginia congressmen have put forward a proposal to provide universal preschool and affordable childcare in an ambitious $55 billion program.

“Across the country, too many families cannot find—or afford—the high-quality child care they need so parents can go to work and children can thrive, and the worsening child care crisis is holding families, child care workers, businesses, and our entire economy back,” Sen.Tim Kaine (D-Va) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Hampton Roads) wrote in an announcement.

They said the proposal, consisting of 3 programs, would reduce the cost of childcare for many, expand existing public preschool programs and give a boost to the childcare industry.

The first portion of the proposal would provide $21.3 billion over the next five years through the federal Head Start program to help families pay for childcare for young children.

Under the proposal, they claimed no one making under 85% of the state’s median income (around $65,000 per household in Virginia) would have to pay a penny, and the average family would pay just $10 a day.

“Without investments in the care economy, these jobs will remain unfilled because too many workers, especially women, will have to remain at home and our economy will never reach its full potential,” Scott said.

The second portion would provide $9 billion in subsidies to childcare providers to increase wages and hire more childcare workers, especially in communities with few childcare options. That includes a requirement that companies receiving subsidies pay a “living wage” to their workers.

“I hear about the childcare crisis everywhere I go in Virginia,” Kaine said. “Parents in every community are being locked out of the workforce because they can’t find affordable care for their kids, while critical workers who are passionate about child care are getting squeezed out of their field because of low wages.”

The third portion provides $25 billion over five years to expand public preschool programs to cover every child in the United States.

The funding, through Head Start, would initially cover 90% of the cost of expanding the programs, tapering off to 60% by 2029 and requiring states to cover the remainder.

The bill would mandate that the preschool program be universally available and free of charge to all children aged 3 and 4.

And if states refuse the money or block expansion, the bill would allow localities to receive the funding and set up their own programs.