From the News

Child Tax Credit push and annual Child Data release

In 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) temporarily expanded the CTC for the 2021 tax year from up $2000 to up to $3600 per child younger than age 6 and $3000 per child up to age 17, with the size of the benefit varying based on income thresholds. Additionally, ARPA required that the credits be paid to families monthly instead of an annual payout at tax time, and that the tax credit be fully refundable. Research from the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University found that the monthly payments provided needed buffers to family incomes during the COVID-19 pandemic and helped to reduce financial stress and other hardships. Families spent the money on food and other basic needs and the payments helped to reduce child poverty by half. Further, the expanded credit reached more than 61 million children in 36 million plus households.

If approved, the American Families Act would make the CTC permanent and revert payments back to the increased 2021 tax year monthly payment levels. The AFA also includes a new feature known as the “baby bonus” to increase the size of the credit in the month a baby is born to $2,000.

Learn more about the Child Tax Credit here, including access to the non-filer sign-up tool for families who do not make enough to be required to file taxes.

Also, last month the Annie E. Casey Foundation released the 2023 Kids Count Data Book, an annual publication documenting child well-being trends across the country. Now in its 34th year, the Data Book presents national and state data across four domains: economic well-being, education, health and family, and community. Additionally, states are ranked in overall child well-being.

This year’s report includes a special focus on the state of America’s broken child care system, making a case for how lack of access to affordable, quality child care options harms kids, families, and businesses. Further, recommendations are made to improve child care including increasing public investments, cross-sector partnerships to improve infrastructure for home-based care, and more support for young parents.

Notable new findings in this year’s publication include that today, children of color represent the majority of children in the United States, and Black children are significantly more likely to live in poverty.

The Data Book is available in both English and Spanish. National level data and state profiles can be accessed here.

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