Child and Family Well-Being
The health of our nation depends upon the health and well-being of our children and families. All families—no matter who they are, where they live, or how much money they make—should have the resources they need to foster healthy development from their child’s earliest years. As a nation of abundance, we can—and must—come together to ensure that all families can raise healthy children by addressing the broader social and economic circumstances that make it difficult for too many families to fulfill their aspirations for their children.
A Brighter Future With Baby Bonds
Investing in our kids from birth is a bold step towards achieving racial economic justice, and we are calling on lawmakers to make this a reality through the introduction of Baby Bonds legislation. Baby Bonds are an innovative solution to help narrow the racial wealth divide—providing children with significant nest eggs to set them up for prosperity as adults.
Every day, families, caregivers, people with disabilities, and aging Americans tell their stories and take action so that they can have the freedom to make the care choices that are right for them.
Policy and Perspective
Since early 2020, child nutrition waivers provided in response to the pandemic have made all students eligible for school meals at no cost and provided additional funding and flexibility to school meal programs. The waivers were set to expire June 30, which would have been premature: 23 million people in the United States are currently facing food insecurity and school meal programs are still struggling mightily with rising costs, staff shortages, and supply chain issues. Fortunately, Congress passed legislation last week ensuring that children could continue to receive meals at no cost through summer and extended some waivers through next school year. This bill averts the most dire short-term consequences but is far from perfect: it is imperative that the waivers be extended through next school year. As leaders of two nonprofit organizations committed to healthy school meals as integral to children’s learning and overall wellbeing, Richard Besser and Nancy Brown, CEO of the AHA, explain why this bill must be a first step not be a final one. Read their op-ed on ABC News.
The U.S. relegates those of certain races, wage levels, and immigration backgrounds to secondhand status. Richard Besser, a pediatrician who provides care to many uninsured children, and Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, a scholar who worked on the National Academies’ landmark A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty report, write in The Hill that our policy choices make certain populations more likely to live in poverty and suffer lifelong repercussions. "We know how to reduce poverty; the expanded Child Tax Credit has done it over the past six months. But the expanded credit has expired." Dr. Besser and Dr. Acevedo-Garcia explain why a permanent expansion of a more equitable Child Tax Credit is essential to eliminating child poverty.