U.S. Congress Passes Third Stimulus Package Containing Early Childhood Provisions

The U.S. Congress passed a third stimulus package (H.R. 748, CARES Act) on Friday, March 27th to address the still unfolding COVID-19 pandemic.

Early childhood provisions include:

  • Child Care and Development Block Grant: $3.5 billion in grants to states for immediate assistance to child care providers to prevent them from going out of business and to otherwise support child care for families, including for healthcare workers, first responders, and others playing critical roles during this crisis.
  • Head Start: $750 million for grants to all Head Start programs to help them respond to conoravirus related needs of children and families, including making up for lost learning time.  
  • Child Nutrition Programs: $8.8 billion
  • Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program: $15.5 billion
  • The Emergency Food Assistance Program: $450 million
  • Health Departments: $5 million to provide guidance on cleaning  and disinfecting schools and day‐care facilities, and more.
  • Child Welfare Services: $45 million for grants to states to support child welfare needs of families during this crisis, and to help keep families together.
  • The Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund: $3 billion This fund may be used by Governors to assist LEAs, IHEs, early childhood education/child care entities that are hardest hit by the emergency to continue to provide educational services to their students. 60% of this is distributed based on the state’s relative population of individuals aged 5-24. 40% will be distributed on the basis of the relative total population.
  • And more.

You can read this document prepared by the National School Board Association, or this pdf from the First Five Years Fund, detailing the provisions of each of the three stimulus packages.

You can also sign up for a webinar hosted by the Coalition for Human Needs on April 3rd, 1pm CT examining the good and the bad of what’s available so far, and the human needs that still must be addressed in a fourth package. They will discuss cash assistance, expanded benefits, help for nonprofits, and new programs such as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

Finally, you can review this fact sheet from the Center for Law and Social Policy, Inc. (CLASP) detailing how the $3.5 billion in emergency CCDBG funding will be allocated to the states, and how this funding is insufficient given the scope of the crisis.