CHILD AND YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS ARE IN CRISIS
Throughout the U.S., programs that serve the most vulnerable children and youth are struggling to survive. The early childhood education and developmental support that these programs provide for children and school-aged youth are essential for the wellbeing of our communities. Unfortunately, many programs that were already running on limited resources are now threatened by the financial impacts of COVID-19. These programs are a safety net that our children cannot afford to lose.
We believe that every child and young person has a right to a high-quality education. But the pandemic is placing new strains on disadvantaged families, and some children are being left behind. Children and youth from disadvantaged families have reduced learning time and higher absenteeism. With the advent of online learning, a lack of access to computers and the internet only exasperates this problem.
As some families are forced to keep their children at home because of the Covid-19 pandemic, childcare registration has dropped dramatically, leaving essential community programs without the funds to survive. This affects everyone: the owners of these important small businesses, their employees, young people, and the communities they belong to. We need to act now to ensure child and youth centers can pay for operating expenses and resources, retain their employees, and keep their programs open for the long term. The U.S. Child & Youth Polyclinic Fund supports the health and wellbeing of children in our communities by funding the educational services they rely on.