ZERO TO THREE Declares COVID Relief Bill Doesn’t Go Far Enough
Organization calls on Congress to pass package but to immediately resume negotiations on behalf of families of babies and toddlers
Eleven months after the first diagnosed case of COVID-19 in the United States, with more than 17 million confirmed cases and more than 310,000 Americans dead, ZERO TO THREE welcomed the introduction of a bipartisan relief package in Congress while warning that the bill does not go nearly far enough for families of young children. ZERO TO THREE, the country’s leading early childhood development nonprofit dedicated to ensuring all babies and toddlers have a strong start in life, called on Congress to pass the bill quickly and immediately resume negotiations for further relief in the new year.
ZERO TO THREE Chief Policy Officer Dr. Myra Jones-Taylor stated:
“This updated relief package – one that families across the country have awaited for months – is simply a stopgap. This package does not include nearly enough funding to support our child care centers, who are struggling to remain afloat with less capacity, nor does it include the paid leave all workers so desperately need.
“After passing this legislation, we call on every member of Congress to take time during the holidays to talk to their constituents. Meet with them while they wait in line for hours for food. Ask them how they decide which bills to pay each month and which ones, if left unpaid, could render them homeless as temperatures drop and COVID infection rates rise. Hear from them directly about what COVID-19 has done to their children. Our babies and toddlers need their representatives to get back to the negotiating table in January and do what is necessary to meet the moment. We’ve waited long enough.”
ZERO TO THREE has consistently and repeatedly called for strong support for families and the child care system in America throughout this pandemic. Alongside other leading organizations, the nonprofit has called for at least $57 billion for child care, $100 billion in funding for emergency rental assistance with a federal eviction moratorium extension, a 15 percent boost to the SNAP maximum benefit, and $200 million in funding for procurement and local distribution of diapers for families in need.
To read Dr. Jones-Taylor’s April op-ed discussing the need for Congressional support for child care, a piece which proved prescient and has only become more urgent, click here.
To learn more about the five critical areas of need for babies and toddlers identified by ZERO TO THREE, click here.
Throughout the pandemic, parent advocates have joined with ZERO TO THREE to urge Congress to #ThinkBabiesandAct on behalf of babies and toddlers. To hear their stories and their experiences, click here.
To learn more about how COVID-19 is impacting child care providers, click here.
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