Supporting Young Parents Through the American Rescue Plan
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.