A growing body of research shows that guaranteed income programs targeting parents can have a big impact on young kids by providing family stability during children’s first few, formative years. Parents in Stockton’s guaranteed income program, for example, reported being more involved in their children’s lives and better able to provide for them. Other surveys found that parents were more likely to engage in positive interactions with a child if they retained some income after losing a job. Whilst in many European countries a guaranteed income in the form of a family allowance is standard, in the US these programs, which provide consistent financial support to participants over a period of time, caught the attention of local governments and philanthropists during the Covid-19 pandemic, as they sought to support people experiencing financial distress. As some states are starting to invest in such programs advocates for guaranteed income say that they are urgently needed. “A really small amount of cash can help unlock an entire universe of economic potential for families,” said Carter of St. Paul.

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