Legislation constitutes a monumental win for families and provides supports babies need to thrive
WASHINGTON — This afternoon, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan, President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 recovery package to help families nationwide struggling with the impact of the pandemic. ZERO TO THREE, the country’s leading early childhood development nonprofit dedicated to ensuring all babies and toddlers have a strong start in life, hailed the legislation as taking critical steps to support the needs of babies and families, both now and in the future.
ZERO TO THREE Chief Policy Officer Dr. Myra Jones-Taylor stated:
“It’s almost hard to believe that COVID-19 has been impacting the health and well-being of our nation’s babies for a year now, placing parents and caregivers under mountains of stress.
“To be clear, the struggles facing parents and caregivers are not new. The pandemic has simply exacerbated preexisting challenges that are felt even more acutely in families of color and those with lower incomes. Our babies are facing unprecedented hardships, and when babies do not get the support they need, their development suffers, with consequences for their future.
“We at ZERO TO THREE are thrilled that our leaders have shown families we have their backs by passing President Biden’s historic—and compassionate — American Rescue Plan. This package invests in babies and families across the country, with policies that are proven drivers of healthy development, like child care, paid leave, the Child Tax Credit, and extended rental assistance. These, and other emergency supports, will help the families that have been hardest hit weather this pandemic. This package lays the foundation for long-term policies that will give families the support they need.
“Thank you to those Members of Congress who have worked hard to pass the American Rescue Plan, which recognizes and addresses the unmet needs of our nation’s babies and families. And thank you to President Biden for your empathy for American families struggling through the pandemic, and the leadership to think big and see it through.
“And a sincere and heartfelt thank you to all of the advocates, parents, and caregivers who raised their voices to fight for this package. You are an important part of this success and understand how families have borne the brunt of this pandemic and its economic fallout. We celebrate this progress with you. The American Rescue Plan is a historic move toward ensuring that – especially through crisis – babies have what they need to thrive.”
Read more about how the American Rescue Plan addresses five critical needs for babies and toddlers.
About ZERO TO THREE
ZERO TO THREE works to ensure all babies and toddlers benefit from the family and community connections critical to their well-being and development. Since 1977, the organization has advanced the proven power of nurturing relationships by transforming the science of early childhood into helpful resources, practical tools and responsive policies for millions of parents, professionals and policymakers. For more information, and to learn how to become a ZERO TO THREE member, please visit zerotothree.org, facebook.com/ZEROTOTHREE or follow @ZEROTOTHREE on Twitter.