“Supporting children means shoring up the ways we support families. Every policy we set—from tax credits to paid leave—should reduce financial pressures on families and increase the time and capacity for supportive family relationships.” – Frameworks Institute, June 2021,
In policy debates at the state and local level, there is a persistent mismatch between the strong evidence of a policy’s positive impact on the economic security of children and families, and the political will to maintain or expand such policies.
A key reason is the lack of power among impacted children and families themselves. Winning family economic security through progressive economic policy changes at the state and local level requires advocacy infrastructure on the ground to help change the conversation, build and maintain coalitions to support change, and ensure policy wins are properly implemented. This is true regardless of the political environment of individual states or localities.
Even the best and most accurate evidence-based research and policy advocacy are rarely sufficient to drive policy change on their own. This is especially true for policy change targeted at improving the economic prospects of Black and Brown children and families, where structural racism presents additional barriers to drawing policymakers’ attention. To contribute to policy change, EARN supports collaborations between EARN groups and grassroots partners capable of wielding the collective power necessary to win change.
This body of work supports EARN groups and grassroots partners, including grant recipients, to drive key economic policy reforms that have a transformative impact on children and families, and that advance racial and gender equity.
ADVANCING ECONOMIC JUSTICE FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES PROJECT GRANTS (2023 – 2025)
Grants to support key economic policy reforms that have a transformative impact on children and families, and that advance racial and gender equity
Arizona Center for Economic Progress and Rural Arizona Engagement
This project seeks to address the needs of Indigenous and rural Arizona communities, specifically how a lack of access to childcare imperils family economic security. Key policy objectives include advocating for the improvement of the public sector and care economy by illuminating childcare deserts, identifying gaps in the childcare ecosystem, and reducing childcare costs. The project will also build public awareness by advocating for expanded paid family medical leave (PFML) benefits and advance community-led solutions to alleviate the specific economic challenges faced by indigenous and rural children and families.
Colorado Fiscal Institute and Soul 2 Soul Sisters
This project will lay the foundation for a community-created reparations agenda centered around Black women, children, and families in the state. It will specifically focus on advancing baby bonds as a policy designed to address the state’s racial wealth gap, while engaging the community in collective education and action for reparations. Through a baby bonds program, Colorado can invest public dollars that will ensure children of color have the initial funding they need to invest in wealth-building.
Florida Policy Institute, Families for Strong Public Schools, and PS 305
Florida is witnessing a sustained attack on public education, a core component of healthy, thriving communities. This project will focus on building a strong sustainable coalition for increased investment in early education and K-12 education and prevent privatization and funding cuts. It also seeks to build a positive narrative about public education in the state, and highlight how education, as a public good, is necessary for working families to have stability and security.
Minnesota Budget Project and ISAIAH
This project seeks to address Minnesota’s economic racial disparities – some of the worst in the nation – and build worker power by staging a breakthrough in early childhood care and education. The project will support legislation that moves the state toward a future in which every Minnesota child has secure, stable access to a high-quality childcare environment, no family is paying more than 7% of their income for care, and all teachers and workers in the sector receive family-sustaining wages and benefits.
Missouri Budget Project and Missouri Jobs with Justice
Missouri currently does not have strong policies to protect working families and to ensure that working parents can take care of their kids while also bringing home enough in wages to cover basic needs. The project focuses on a state ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage and win guaranteed paid sick leave on the November 2024 ballot. The policies will directly impact nearly 727,000 Missouri workers and will disproportionately benefit workers of color and women.