A Universal EITC: Sharing the Gains from Economic Growth, Encouraging Work, and Supporting Families

A Universal EITC: Sharing the Gains from Economic Growth, Encouraging Work, and Supporting Families. Urban Institute. Leonard E. Burman. May 20, 2019

This report analyzes a straightforward mechanism to mitigate middle-class wage stagnation: a wage tax credit of 100 percent of earnings up to a maximum credit of $10,000, called a universal earned income tax credit. The child tax credit would increase from $2,000 to $2,500 and be made fully refundable. A broad-based, value-added tax of 11 percent would finance the new credit. The proposal is highly progressive and would nearly end poverty for families headed by a full-time worker. This report compares the proposal with current law, analyzes its economic effects, compares it to alternative reform options, and considers some complementary policy options. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 48 pages].

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Preparing the Future Workforce: Early Care and Education Participation among Children of Immigrants

Preparing the Future Workforce: Early Care and Education Participation among Children of Immigrants. Urban Institute. Erica Greenberg, Victoria Rosenboom, Gina Adams. March 22, 2019

Children of immigrants will make up a critical share of our nation’s future workforce, but they are less likely than other children to participate in early education programs known to support school readiness and long-term productivity. This study describes the characteristics and enrollment of children of immigrants using the most current and comprehensive dataset available: the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010–11. We find that children of immigrants tend to have fewer resources and greater need than children of US-born parents but lower rates of enrollment in center-based preschool. However, programs such as Head Start and state prekindergarten, as well as public kindergarten programs, are making progress in closing gaps in access. These findings suggest that current investments in early education are helping prepare the future workforce for success in 2050 and that expanded investments are warranted. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 38 pages].

Improving Outcomes for Transitional Youth: Considerations for Pay for Success Projects

Improving Outcomes for Transitional Youth: Considerations for Pay for Success Projects. Urban Institute. Mayookha Mitra-Majumdar, Keith Fudge, Kriti Ramakrishnan. March 7, 2019

Transitional youth are young people ages 16 to 24 who leave foster care without being adopted or reunited with their biological families and/or who are involved in the juvenile justice system, where they may be in detention or subject to terms of probation. With childhoods often marked by trauma and a lack of stability, transitional youth face notoriously poor outcomes across many areas of life. Pay for success (PFS) may provide an opportunity to address some of the challenges faced by transitional youth and the difficulties in serving them. To further explore this opportunity, the Urban Institute initiated a Community of Practice, a collaborative of researchers, practitioners, and local government officials that came together to discuss the most pressing challenges facing youth aging out of foster care and/or involved in the juvenile justice system and the potential for PFS to fund programs that address these challenges. This brief summarizes insights drawn from Community of Practice conversations and provides recommendations for local governments, service providers, and other partners considering PFS as a tool for financing interventions serving transitional youth. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 31 pages].

School Meals Programs and Other USDA Child Nutrition Programs: A Primer

School Meals Programs and Other USDA Child Nutrition Programs: A Primer. Congressional Research Service. Kara Clifford Billings, Randy Alison Aussenberg. February 11, 2019

The “child nutrition programs” refer to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (USDA-FNS) programs that provide food for children in school or institutional settings. The best known programs, which serve the largest number of children, are the school meals programs: the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP). The child nutrition programs also include the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), which provides meals and snacks in day care and after school settings; the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), which provides food during the summer months; the Special Milk Program (SMP), which supports milk for schools that do not participate in NSLP or SBP; and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP), which funds fruit and vegetable snacks in select elementary schools. 

[PDF format, 16 pages].

Advancing Investments in the Early Years: Opportunities for Strategic Investments in Evidence-Based Early Childhood Programs in New Hampshire

Advancing Investments in the Early Years: Opportunities for Strategic Investments in Evidence-Based Early Childhood Programs in New Hampshire. Rand Corporation. Lynn A. Karoly. January 24, 2019.

A substantial share of children in New Hampshire are at risk of adverse developmental outcomes because of low family resources and other factors that can compromise healthy development in the first few years of life. This report examines the need for early childhood investments in communities across New Hampshire, the current investments under way and how they match with underlying needs, and where there are opportunities for further strategic investments in early childhood programs, particularly home visiting and preschool education. Drawing on data that characterize the variation in needs and services across the state and a study of four focal communities that are already making advances in this area, the author recommends a strategic approach to further investments in early childhood programs, focusing first on those communities with the greatest need but with current low rates of access. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 35 pages].

Promoting Refugee Integration in Challenging Times: The Potential of Two-Generation Strategies

Promoting Refugee Integration in Challenging Times: The Potential of Two-Generation Strategies. Migration Policy Institute. Mark Greenberg et al. December 2018.

The U.S. refugee resettlement program is facing unprecedented challenges, between the steep drop in refugee arrivals since fiscal year 2016 and reduced funding for reception and placement services. Some local resettlement offices have been forced to close, while others must figure out how to do more with less. As a result, it is more important than ever to think smartly about how to support refugee integration, including by forging new partnerships and improving the accessibility of mainstream services.
At the same time, human service agencies across the United States have shown a growing interest in “two-generation” strategies built around recognition of the fact that addressing the needs of children is important to their parents’ success, and vice versa. This report examines how this approach could be—and in some cases, already is—applied to support the integration of refugee families. Such a strategy may include programs that explicitly serve both adults and children, as well as those that focus on one or the other group in a way that supports the advancement of the whole family. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 57 pages].

Strategies to Meet the Needs of Young Parent Families: Highlights from Interviews with 14 Programs

Strategies to Meet the Needs of Young Parent Families: Highlights from Interviews with 14 Programs. Urban Institute. Alan D. Dodkowitz, Yuju Park, Shayne Spaulding. September 18, 2018

 In 2013, there were nearly 4.6 million young parents between the ages of 18 and 24 in the United States, with approximately 80 percent (3.6 million) living with at least one of their children. These young parents face a host of challenges, ranging from difficulties accessing child care, higher rates of public benefit receipt, and troubles obtaining positive educational and employment outcomes. Despite these issues, there is no overarching strategy to improve the outcomes for young parents. The Urban Institute interviewed 14 different young parent providers across the nation serving a variety of subpopulations, to understand what strategies they used to serve this population. This paper provides an overview of the strategies used to serve young parents, including methods of providing improved education and employment services, connections to support services, and parenting workshops. This paper also highlights the perspectives of service providers on what approaches are needed to serve this population, as well as their views on the many challenges young parents face. This research highlights different methods of improving young outcomes for this population, implications for policy, and where further research should focus. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 30 pages].