The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which the U.S Senate and the U.S. House passed and President signed into law today, is another step forward in providing economic relief to families, workers, and businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic. If you want to see the specifics, you can read and explore it online.
Child Care and Development Block Grant
The CARES Act includes $3.5 billion in emergency funding to support child care through the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), which tribes and states can use to begin to address critical child care needs. The bill allows tribes and states to use this funding to:
Provide continued payments and assistance to child care providers in the case of decreased enrollment or closures related to coronavirus, and to assure they are able to remain open or reopen as appropriate;
Provide child care assistance, without regard to income, to health care sector employees, emergency responders, sanitation workers, and other workers deemed essential during the response to the coronavirus; and
Provide funding to child care providers who were not participating in subsidy prior to the public health emergency for the purposes of cleaning and sanitation and other activities necessary to maintain or resume the operation of programs.
The bill includes $750 million for Head Start to cover staffing and operational costs and provide summer learning opportunities. Specifically part of the funds will be for a “summer bridge” program, focusing on rising kindergartners to ensure they are ready for their first day of public school.
Unemployment Insurance (UI)
The bill provides $250 billion in temporary enhancements to the UI system through 2020, including:
$600 increase in the weekly UI checks of unemployed workers;
Special disaster relief program, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that expands UI coverage to self-employed workers, gig workers, and independent contractors; and
A temporary 13-week extension of UI benefits.
For more information on the the UI provisions in the CARES Act from the National Employment Law Center (NELP), click here.
The legislation provides for direct payments to individuals called “recovery rebates”. The rebates are worth a maximum of $1,200 per person ($2,400 for a married couple filing a joint tax return) plus an additional $500 per dependent child age 16 or under
For more information, such as who is eligible, who is left out, and how the rebates will be issued, click here.
US Small Business Administration (SBA) loans and grants
The bill provides $10 billion for SBA emergency grants to small businesses, including non-profits, with fewer than 500 employees could be eligible for up to $10 million in forgivable small business loans.
The Bipartisan Policy Center and Committee for Economic Development has put together a thorough summary of these provisions specifically for child care providers, to read the summary click here.
Other important federal updates
The Internal Revenue Service has extended the tax filing deadline to July 15th. For more IRS-related coronavirus information, click here.
The Department of Education announced last week that it will stop collecting on student loans in default. This break began on March 13th and will last for a minimum of 60 days. To read more, click here.
Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has announced that it will temporarily halt most enforcement inside the U.S. during the coronavirus outbreak. For more information, click here.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has suspended medical continuing disability reviews until further notice. For more information, click here.
Several stimulus packages have been put into law to help the economy deal with the effects of COVID-19. Please visit our COVID-19 news page to learn about others.