On September 28th, the House Democrats released an updated version of the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act which includes many critical supports for families. The latest iteration of the HEROES Act would provide $2.2 trillion in funding focused on meeting the needs of families facing hardship around the nation.
ZERO TO THREE examined the updated HEROES Act from the standpoint of critical needs identified for babies and families and found it includes key provisions needed to support families with young children through this crisis. The bill includes: comprehensive support for the child care system that meets the need economists estimate to be at least $50 billion; expansion of paid family and medical leave and paid sick days during and after the pandemic; additional support for families with young children who are both physically and socially isolated; emergency rental assistance to support families in remaining housed as well as an extension to the federal eviction moratorium; and boosts to the minimum and maximum SNAP benefits. Each of these provisions would help families get back to work and meet their basic needs during this unprecedented time.
The science of child development tells us that babies’ experiences during this crisis will profoundly shape their lives. Since the passage of Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, ZERO TO THREE has continued to hear directly from families with infants and toddlers, as well as child care providers, about their experiences coping with financial worries and family stress. We also have been drawing on the Rapid Early Childhood Survey, which provides an invaluable window to the experiences of families with young children during this crisis.
This analysis highlights components of the updated HEROES Act that will ultimately affect the nation’s ability to sustain the child care system, boost families’ economic security, support strong families and strong social-emotional health, and meet families’ basic needs during the pandemic and beyond, on the nation’s road to recovery.
Download ZERO TO THREE’s analysis to learn more about what is in the bill for babies.