by Pete Nabozny, Director of Policy, The Children’s Agenda
The Biden Administration and Congress have targeted early March as the completion date for the next round of federal COVID relief funding. The Children’s Agenda and allied organizations are paying close attention to the emerging deal in Washington DC, and are working with child advocacy organizations around the country to ensure that children are prioritized in any comprehensive federal agreement.
This next round of federal COVID relief will likely pass under budget reconciliation rules. This option, which is not subject to a filibuster, requires an extensive committee mark-up and amendment process in both the House of Representatives and the Senate before Congress can send the bill to the President. Please refer to the summary for important components of the emerging agreement that would benefit children in Monroe County and New York State.
How COVID Relief Affects Children
Taken together, these actions would represent a historic, once in a lifetime, commitment to increasing federal funding for programs that serve low-income families with children. A recent estimate from Columbia University’s Center on Poverty and Social Policy concluded that this relief bill would cut child poverty in half in 2021, with especially large percentage reductions for Black and Hispanic households.
This influx of federal dollars for child care could also allow New York State to provide significant financial relief to child care providers who have experienced deep revenue declines throughout the past year and begin implementing the ambitious recommendations recently developed by the state’s Child Care Availability Task Force. This federal funding could help transform the state’s child care industry by making child care affordable and accessible to families of all income levels and increasing compensation for the sector’s workforce.
The emerging federal relief deal has the potential to substantially improve the lives of thousands of children and families in our community. The Children’s Agenda will continue to monitor the federal legislative picture and work with partners in our community and throughout the country to ensure that children are prioritized in the final agreement.