National COVID-19 Family Policy Prescriptions

An Emergency Policy Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

National Opportunities to Address the Needs of Families With Young Children and Promote Equity Amid Public Health and Economic Crises

Key Takeaways:

The COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis as a result will increase hardship among families of young children with low incomes, immigrant families, and communities of color, which in turn threatens their health and well-being. As our nation responds to the current economic downturn, these are critically important considerations:

  • Evidence from previous recessions show families of young children with low incomes, communities of color, and immigrants are particularly vulnerable to economic downturns resulting in increased economic hardship over longer periods of time even after the economy as a whole recovers.
  • The current volatility in financial markets paired with large-scale job loss, furloughs, and decreased work hours will disproportionately affect families with low incomes, communities of color, and immigrants.
  • This reality, when compounded by pre-existing wealth disparities by race, ethnicity, and gender, will exacerbate inequity and increase hardship.
  • Young children’s long-term health is placed at risk when they experience even brief periods of deprivation.
  • Federal policies that respond to the immediate and long-term needs of families with young children are urgently needed to reduce the harm caused by the current economic crisis.