“‘Finally we’re seeing the private sector, the business community, understand the importance of this ‘system’ to the economy,’ said Mary Jo Meisner, a member of the Boston Women Leaders Network, which endorsed the legislation.

The Common Start legislation would change funding two ways. It would give every child care provider baseline funding — along the lines of public schools — based on their capacity enrollment. And it would significantly boost public subsidies, allowing more families to qualify at higher income levels.