The U.S.House of Representatives began discussions this week on expanding the Child Tax Credit (CTC), child care, pre-kindergarten, and Head Start.
Child Tax Credit (CTC)
The Child Tax Credit will expire in December unless legislation is enacted to extend the benefit past 2021. The CTC already has documented benefits for families and children. A U.S. Census survey conducted before and after the first CTC payments began in mid-July showed that families who received payments experienced less food insecurity and less difficulty paying their expenses than before receiving the CTC. While 11 percent of families experienced food insecurity prior to receiving their first CTC check, 8.4% of families experienced food insecurity after receiving the payment.
Families with children also had less difficulty paying their bills after receiving the CTC, while adults without children experienced greater hardship during the same time period. More information on the CTC and resources for families who still need to sign up can be found at ChildTaxCredit.gov.
Reconciliation recommendations to expand child care, pre-K, and Head Start
On September 9th, the House Education and Labor Committee began work on that committee’s reconciliation instruction, which includes expansions to child care, pre-K, and Head Start. In the current draft, families making 75% or less of a state’s median income would receive free childcare for all children under the age of 13. Those making 200% of the median income would have child care costs capped at seven percent of their income. Their proposal would also allow all 3- and 4-year-olds to be eligible for pre-K, and would invest $15 billion to increase Head Start workforce compensation.