The following statement regarding the Administration’s budget should be attributed to Patricia Cole, Senior Director of Federal Policy, ZERO TO THREE:
WASHINGTON — “ZERO TO THREE is deeply disappointed in the Administration’s proposed FY2021 budget today, which would severely undermine the supports our country’s babies and toddlers need to thrive. By divesting in programs and policies for young children and their families, ‘A Budget for America’s Future’ is sadly the exact opposite. Today’s babies are our nation’s future. They are our next generation of workers, parents, and leaders. The proposals outlined in the FY2021 budget work to fundamentally weaken the array of social services that many families rely on to make ends meet. All families—regardless of their zip code, income level, or job description—deserve swift and comprehensive solutions from their elected officials, and the Administration’s budget charts a course for lawmakers in the absolute wrong direction.
“A true ‘Budget for America’s Future’ should include the best support that our nation’s families deserve, including access to comprehensive paid family and medical leave; quality, affordable child care; accessible health care; and a secure and consistent source for nutritious foods. Currently, too many parents must make an impossible choice between their jobs and taking the time they need with their babies. Instead of providing true paid leave, this budget instead puts the burden on states to solve a nationwide paid leave crisis that currently leaves families in jeopardy.
“With the cost of child care skyrocketing, only 4 percent of low- or moderate-income families with infants and toddlers receive child care subsidies. This budget would do little to help them and may even lower the quality of current care options, going against the Administration’s stated goal of affordable child care for all families. These changes, along with significant proposed cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, and Medicaid, as well as the outright elimination of Low-Income Home Energy Assistance, will disproportionately disadvantage babies in already overburdened and under-resourced families, particularly those of color.
“ZERO TO THREE calls on the Administration and Congress to work towards solutions for all babies and families, particularly the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act and Child Care for Working Families Act. Unlike other proposals, these bipartisan bills are comprehensive solutions that would level the playing field, providing all working families the support they deserve to help babies thrive. If we are to truly invest in America’s future, we must give each and every one of our babies the chance to reach their full potential.”
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.