By Rachel Puryear
If you have children, or someone you love does, there is some exciting news for you. The American Families Plan offers much-needed relief for families following the pandemic. This Plan can cut child poverty in half this year, and could help end child poverty in a generation if its provisions are here to stay. Here’s a breakdown of the benefits and opportunities created by the recent American Families Plan:
Help Paying for Child Care:
The Plan makes child care more affordable by making it free for the lowest-income families; and by capping child care costs at no more than 7% of income for low and middle-income families. Plus, funding will be provided to improve wages for child care workers, benefitting them and their families as well (besides also likely improving the quality of child care overall).
Free Preschool, and Free Community College:
All three and four-year olds (all family income levels) will now be eligible for free preschool. Preschool and Head Start teachers will also see improved minimum wages.
All Americans (including DREAMers) will now be eligible for two free years of community college. Further funding will also be provided for Pell Grants (for low-income students), and minority-serving institutions.
Paid Family Leave Programs:
Within ten years of the Plan, twelve weeks of paid leave will be guaranteed for parental, family, and personal illness leave. In the first year, workers will have three days bereavement leave per year.
Nutrition Assistance to Families:
As children do not receive school meals during the summer, low-income families will receive more EBT assistance during the summer. School meals will also be expanded to more children during the school year.
Expanded Health Care Assistance:
Health care tax credits will help save more people money on their health insurance premiums, and will help insure more people who are currently uninsured. More funding will also go to maternal health care, and to health care for veterans.
Stay tuned for further updates regarding accessing the benefits of this Plan, as the updates become available. Thank you for reading, following, and sharing. And, as always, here’s to greater prosperity and thriving to all of you and your loved ones.