At Children’s Friend, we know that our care for kids and families has to go beyond the quality service we provide – it has to extend to ALL the systems impacting them. Because of that, we know it’s strategically aligned with our mission to be a leading advocacy voice in the state around laws, policies, and systems that impacts our communities. So, today we’re going to share a few highlights about the 2021 RI legislative season from our partners at RI KIDS COUNT. Read the full report here [LINK: https://www.rikidscount.org/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/6790%20LegiWrap21_v4.pdf?ver=2021-08-04-112618-567].
What impacts will our communities see from this legislative season?
- Minimum wage increase: The minimum wage will gradually increase to $15/hour by 2025.
- RI Works: The monthly RI Works (TANF) benefit will increase by 30%.
- Childcare: Copayments for Child Care Assistance Program were lowered and capped at 7% of family income.
- Home visiting: Medicaid funding was increased for some family home visiting programs. Prenatal visits were authorized for First Connections.
- Doula services are now eligible for reimbursement through Medicaid and private insurance.
These are just a few of the victories for kids and families from this year. There are many important bills that did not pass, including increased compensation for early childhood educators, eviction protections, and more. We will continue to advocate alongside communities for a more just and equitable future for RI’s kids and their caregivers!