Organization urges Congress to swiftly enact proposals and protect infants, toddlers, and their families
WASHINGTON — Ahead of taking office next week, President-elect Joe Biden tonight unveiled his COVID-19 recovery plan 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 proposal as taking critical steps to support the needs of families, both now and in the future, and urged Congress to quickly enact legislation to make the proposals a reality.
ZERO TO THREE Chief Policy Officer Dr. Myra Jones-Taylor stated:
“For almost a year, families have had to rely on half-measures while waiting for more substantial help. Our babies and toddlers are in danger of having this pandemic indelibly imprinted on their development. We are encouraged by this strong show of support, which prioritizes our nation’s families, infants, and toddlers. President-elect Biden’s proposed plan would provide millions of families with young children with a critical lifeline, particularly Black and Brown families who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
“We are also pleased the president-elect’s plan eases the financial burden on child care providers, who, without help, will be unable to keep their doors open. Without financial support for providers, millions of parents would be left without access to the care they need to continue working and young children without quality early learning opportunities. We strongly urge Congress to agree to take up and pass this bill without delay. America’s families have waited long enough, and the potential of our nation’s 12 million infants and toddlers hangs in the balance.”
President-elect Biden’s American Rescue Plan would:
- Create a $25B emergency fund to help child care providers who are closed or in danger of closing and add an additional $15B in funding to the Child Care Development Block Grant;
- Extend and expand the Child Tax Credit to as much as $3,600 per year for families with young children;
- Extend the eviction and foreclosure moratorium through September 2021 and provide an additional $30 billion in rental and utility assistance;
- Increase direct payments to families by $1,400 per person and increase unemployment insurance federal payments to $400 per week;
- Invest $3 billion in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and extend the 15 percent Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit increase;
- Add $1 billion to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour; and
- Restore emergency paid leave benefits and expand paid sick and medical leave to 14 weeks.
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.