If we could say anything about the last year, we can probably all agree it’s been an intense learning experience. As parents, caretakers, leaders and decision-makers, our definition of versatility and the capacity to pivot have taken on whole new meanings. Everyone has had to shift their day-to-day lives and manage new virtual worlds beset with endless technological quirks and disruptions by our little fidgety or furry co-workers.
As we add the last of the kindling to our deep reserves of hope, we find ourselves wishing for resilience and an end to old and newfound hardships compounded by the pandemic and continuation of social injustices. We’ve been diligently waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel.
But there is good news. As vaccination rates and accessibility to vaccines increase, America is beginning to come back to life and assess the damage with open eyes. There is much to be done, but the future does look a little brighter.
On March 11th, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 into law. The American Rescue Plan is an economic stimulus bill intended to speed up the recovery process following the onset and continuation of COVID-19.
The relief package is a substantial investment in state and local governments to mitigate the continuing economic and health implications brought on by the pandemic. The package also includes support for children and families through child care programs, direct stimulus payments, tax provisions, expanded unemployment benefits, as well as housing and nutritional provisions. See the National Conference of State Legislatures summary here for a complete breakdown of the Act.
Under the American Rescue Plan, President Biden also announced the American Families Plan, which is intended to address the imminent needs of American children and families and ensure a more equitable future for our kids. See our posts about how affordable child care and paid family leave, both aspects of Biden’s proposed plan, can improve business outcomes through economic development by supporting family needs.
The American Families Plan is a step towards achieving greater health equity increasing access to paid family leave, quality child care, education, and mental and behavioral health support. The plan aligns with our vision to foster an environment for our kids to not only survive, but thrive.
[White Paper] “How Children Can Transform the Economy and Health Care”
As a we continue onward, we are encouraged by intentional actions both big and small to address child poverty, hunger, and health needs through community and family support systems. For a recap on our approach to securing health equity for children and families click here. Let’s continue the conversation to eliminating disparities that restrict children’s capacity to lead healthy and full lives.