The Biden administration’s recently launched American Families Plan provides deep investments in nutrition, family, education, and other programs that aim to lift children out of poverty and help families build a better future. The American Families Plan follows the American Rescue Plan, which provides economic relief to families and businesses impacted by COVID-19, and the American Jobs Plan, which aims to improve networks and systems such as the electric grid. All these investments emphasize the importance of using research and evidence to get Americans back to work, safely reopen schools, and reduce child poverty.
At Mathematica, we believe that data and evidence must guide decisions at all levels of government. As the Biden administration looks beyond its first 100 days in office, we offer the following resources for using evidence to implement provisions of the American Families Plan.
Lift children out of poverty.
With additional investments in early childhood programming, including universal preschool, the American Families Plan aims to prioritize children’s healthy growth and development. Our work explores topics such as building more equitable child welfare systems; expanding availability of and enrollment in early childhood programs; and providing more resources, including professional development opportunities, for those who care for children.
Early care and education
- Child Care Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic: Supporting Informal Child Care Providers and Families (commentary)
- COVID-19 Response in Region XI American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start: How Children’s Centers and Programs Faced the Pandemic (webinar)
- Building Community-Based Child Welfare Systems That Promote Justice and Equity (commentary)
- Child Welfare Agencies Need to Leverage Data During COVID-19 Crisis (commentary)
- Opening the Black Box of Coaching in Early Care and Education Professional Development and Quality Improvement (webinar)
- We Grow Together: Use of Technology to Support Early Care and Education Professional Development (webinar)
- Tools for measuring the quality of caregiver–child interactions in settings that serve infants and toddlers (product)
Make college affordable for everyone.
The American Families Plan invests in postsecondary education, with an emphasis on making college more affordable for students with low and middle incomes at institutions that serve underrepresented groups. Mathematica’s work sheds light on a range of programs geared toward helping more students participate in higher education.
Expanding access to college
- Study of College Transition Messaging in GEAR UP: Impacts on Enrolling and Staying in College (brief)
- The Effects of Expanding Pell Grant Eligibility for Short Occupational Training Programs: Results from the Experimental Sites Initiative (brief)
Using data to make decisions
- Ready to Sprint? Leveraging Advanced Analytics to Help Colleges and Universities Get Back on Campus (commentary)
- Transforming Student Success: Moving from Insight to Action by Democratizing Data Across the California State University (report)
- How School Districts Can Leverage Data in These Uncertain Times (commentary)
Recruit and train teachers and diversify the teaching community.
The American Families Plan proposes a significant investment to recruit and train teachers, and diversify the teaching workforce. To help teachers and students succeed, Mathematica’s work provides evidence about which programs and policies may help recruit and retain a strong education workforce.
- The Role of Assistant Principals: Evidence and Insights for Advancing School Leadership (report)
- Building and Diversifying the Teacher Pipeline (podcast)
- Five Findings on Teacher Turnover and Access to Effective Teachers in the School District of Philadelphia (project)
- Integrating Culturally Responsive Data Literacy into Schools and Classrooms (webinar)
Expand access to nutrition programs and reduce food insecurity.
The American Families Plan not only expands the Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer for Children program, which provides meals outside of school during the summer, it also reserves funds to provide more school meals during school hours. Mathematica’s work informs the development of nutrition policy, helping stakeholders understand how changes in policy could affect participation, costs, food security, and nutritional quality.
- Did Responses to the Pandemic Improve Federal Efforts to Feed Children? (commentary)
- Feeding Children is Important Year-Round, Especially in this Uncertain Summer (commentary)
- Nutrients Special Issue Digs into the Data on School Meals (article)
- Serving SNAP Participants During COVID-19: Voices from the Field (webinar)