Early childhood programs have proven to be strong platforms for two-generation (2Gen) approaches. Over the last three years, the Educare Learning Network and Buffett Foundation supported four dynamic Educare sites around the country in exploring and advancing 2Gen approaches. Learn about the goals of this effort, key components of their implementation efforts, and opportunities and challenges. This brief also offers recommendations for other early childhood programs interested in the 2Gen approach.
Because of recent legislation passed in February and March of this year, the federal government will be providing significant new funding to state and local governments in 2018 and future years through an array of programs serving low-income children and parents. These new funding streams, and the legislations’ increased focus on improving outcomes using evidence-based approaches, create a remarkable opportunity for path-breaking governors and local leaders to transform how government tackles intergenerational poverty. By weaving together new and existing funding streams, they can pursue aggressive two-generation (2Gen) system reforms that create more efficient ways to improve economic security, education, health, and well-being for low-income parents and children.
The two-generation (2Gen) field is rapidly advancing: scalable and replicable solutions exist and are being expanded. States Leading the Way: Practical Solutions that Lift Up Children and Families lifts up the most promising, actionable solutions from seven states that can break the cycle of intergenerational poverty for families in the US. June 2018.
Building a Thriving Tennessee: A 2Gen Approach was created in collaboration between Ascend at the Aspen Institute and the Tennessee Department of Human Services. This report provides key elements of Tennessee’s transformational 2Gen journey — details about the department’s engagement and learning processes, ideas around social innovation and public-private partnerships, insights into lessons learned, and a plan for Building a Thriving Tennessee. June 2018.
State leaders in Utah are determined to find solutions to intergenerational poverty and strengthen the lives of children and their parents. As Governor Gary R. Herbert shared with colleagues at the National Governors Association, “Intergenerational poverty is generation after generation where the grandparents, parents, and now the children, are trapped in poverty. We’re trying to break that cycle.” With this focus, the Governor tasked his administration to find solutions and prioritize the work of Utah’s multi-agency Intergenerational Welfare Reform Commission and data initiative in 2012. Ascend at the Aspen Institute became one of the partners in these efforts through connections with other innovative states, local community efforts, technical assistance, and leadership support.
The cliff, sometimes called the “benefits effect,” occurs when a family’s income increases above the income eligibility for financial supports. Income requirements force parents to choose between the needs of their child(ren) and income increases, leading to the potential loss of critical supports including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), child care assistance, health care coverage, subsidized housing, and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). This is a significant issue for low-income families given that typically an increase in hourly wages is less than the amount the family loses in benefits.