CHICAGO - The American Rescue Plan (ARP) provides significant resources that will help YMCAs retain staff and continue delivering essential services in their communities. YMCA of the USA is grateful for its passage and looks forward to working with Congress and the Administration to advance our nation’s COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.
When the pandemic disrupted daily life in communities and forced our facilities to suspend usual day-to-day operations, the Y stepped up to ensure our neighbors received the support they needed to survive, despite our own financial difficulties and staff shortages. An important ARP provision for the Y is expanding eligibility for the Paycheck Protection Program to include nonprofits with more than 500 employees – a group that previously did not have access to federal support. Large Ys are now able to access these critical resources, which will help them avoid additional layoffs, keep their doors open and expand emergency services like feeding families facing food insecurity and providing child care to working families.
As the nation’s largest nonprofit provider of child care, the Y knows that kids will need academic enrichment, social-emotional supports and physical activity this summer more than ever. The ARP provides historic resources for child care providers like the Y to re-engage youth and deliver programs to more children and families. These resources include $30 billion for comprehensive afterschool and summer learning and enrichment programs across the country, $39 billion for child care supports and stabilization grants and $1 billion for Head Start. These unparalleled investments acknowledge what youth-serving organizations have known for a long time: out-of-school time is essential to the well-being of children. These funds will make a real difference in the lives of kids and families as they strive to recover from the pandemic.
We are also pleased the ARP allocates more than $50 billion to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for COVID-19 testing and tracing and vaccine education and distribution. Many YMCAs are already supporting these efforts in communities.
We know there is still a long road to full recovery, but the ARP represents a significant step in the right direction. We are thankful this legislation includes resources that will help YMCAs continue to be vital community assets and support our nation’s recovery.
YMCA of the USA also joined 29 other nonprofits in applauding #Relief4Charities in the American Rescue Plan Act.