New President. New Plans. What Biden’s Rescue and Recovery Plans Mean for Early Childhood

President Joe Biden took office today. He has laid out a two-step plan of rescue and recovery, aimed at supporting children and families through the immediate health and economic crisis of the pandemic and building a stronger infrastructure going forward.

  • The American Rescue Plan is his proposal to tackle the pandemic and to provide direct financial assistance quickly.
  • The Build Back Better Recovery Plan, the details of which the president plans to share during his first address to a joint session of Congress in February, will make investments in infrastructure, manufacturing, innovation, research and development, and clean energy.

Here are three ways you can interact with the American Rescue Plan, depending on your level of interest and time:

  • Read all the detail, along with links to research and data, in the 20-page fact sheet put out by the incoming Biden administration
  • Check out a three-page fact sheet of just the education-related provisions (including child care and preschool, K-12 and higher education) from our friends at EducationCounsel
  • Or here’s the high-level overview of the early childhood-related aspects of the plan if you want just a quick look:

The American Rescue Plan includes:

  • $130 billion for K-12 schools to reopen safely
  • $5 billion for governors to support K-12, higher education, or early childhood educational programs and the learning needs of students significantly impacted by the covid pandemic.
  • $25 billion for an Emergency Stabilization Fund to support child care providers to stay open/re-open safely.
  • $15 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant to expand child care assistance to families.
  • Expand the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC) for one year, so families receive a tax credit for up to half of their spending on child care for children under age 13. 
  • $350 billion for State and Local Fiscal Relief, which can be used, at state and local discretion, to support early childhood.
  • $50 billion to expand covid testing, including at schools.
  • $1,400 for direct payments to individuals and families. 
  • $1 billion for states to cover the additional cash assistance to Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) recipients.
  • Extended unemployment insurance through September 2021, including $400 per week to supplement state and federal unemployment benefits.
  • Extension of the temporary 15% increase to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) monthly benefits through September 2021, and cutting the state match requirement.
  • $3 billion for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
  • Expanded paid sick and family and medical leave, through September 2021
  • Extension of the eviction and foreclosure moratoria, and provide rental support and housing assistance
  • Raise the minimum wage to $15/hour
  • $4 billion to expand access to behavioral health services
  • $800 million to address increases in domestic violence

Like the NC Pathways to Grade-Level Reading Action Framework, these proposed federal investments are based on research and data showing that a broad portfolio of investments in physical and social-emotional health and development, education, and family supports are what young children need to succeed.

NCECF will report on early childhood-related aspects of the Build Back Better Recovery Plan when details become available.