Supporting Young Parents Through the American Rescue Plan

Posted April 22, 2021
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Young mother holding her smiling baby

The Amer­i­can Res­cue Plan (ARP) autho­rizes near­ly $2 tril­lion in fund­ing for a wide range of COVID-19 relief and recov­ery efforts. A new fact sheet from the Amer­i­can Pub­lic Human Ser­vices Asso­ci­a­tion (APH­SA), a Casey Foun­da­tion grantee, high­lights key pro­vi­sions with­in this leg­is­la­tion that ben­e­fit young par­ents and their chil­dren, as well as steps that pub­lic sec­tor lead­ers can take to max­i­mize them.

Many young peo­ple who become par­ents in their teenage years and ear­ly 20s find that hav­ing a child is a trans­for­ma­tive event that moti­vates them to achieve not only that child’s dreams, but also their own. Yet young par­ents often face a host of chal­lenges in their dai­ly lives, from secur­ing ade­quate child care to advanc­ing their edu­ca­tion or land­ing jobs that can sus­tain their families.

APHSA’s fact sheet breaks down key pieces of the new­ly passed Amer­i­can Res­cue Plan that are rel­e­vant to young fam­i­lies and the bar­ri­ers they face, along with ways state and local human ser­vice agen­cies can take advan­tage of them in their work.

Among the ARP pro­vi­sions for young par­ents and their children:

  • Tem­po­rary Assis­tance for Needy Fam­i­lies (TANF) Pan­dem­ic Emer­gency Assis­tance: Makes avail­able $1 bil­lion for non-recur­rent, short ‑term ben­e­fits that must be expend­ed by Sep­tem­ber 30, 2022. Agen­cies should tar­get young fam­i­lies who already receive Sup­ple­men­tal Nutri­tion Assis­tance Pro­gram or TANF ben­e­fits, as well as kin­ship providers.
  • Unem­ploy­ment Insur­ance: Extends Fed­er­al Pan­dem­ic Unem­ploy­ment Com­pen­sa­tion at $300/​week through Sep­tem­ber 6, 2021 and pro­vides tax relief on unem­ploy­ment ben­e­fits. Ser­vice providers should imple­ment aware­ness cam­paigns to help young par­ents under­stand eli­gi­bil­i­ty require­ments and claim extend­ed unem­ploy­ment benefits.
  • Child Care: Pro­vides $39 bil­lion for child care, includ­ing near­ly $24 bil­lion for Child Care Sta­bi­liza­tion grants and $15 bil­lion for the Child Care and Devel­op­ment Block Grant (CCD­BG) pro­gram. CCD­BG funds can be used flex­i­bly by states, includ­ing for child care sub­si­dies to young fam­i­lies. States are encour­aged to expand eli­gi­bil­i­ty to as many fam­i­lies as pos­si­ble under CCD­BG, waive income lim­its for essen­tial work­ers and estab­lish an out­reach cam­paign to inform providers and eli­gi­ble families.
  • High­er Edu­ca­tion: Pro­vides $39.6 bil­lion to col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties and their stu­dents. At least half of this fund­ing must be spent on emer­gency finan­cial aid grants to stu­dents to help them with col­lege costs and basic needs like food, hous­ing and health care. High­er-edu­ca­tion insti­tu­tions should pri­or­i­tize young par­ents in their out­reach for finan­cial aid grants and assistance.


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