Throughout the pandemic, Congress and the Biden Administration demonstrated how government can be a source for good, lifting up millions of children and families.
From the expanded Child Tax Credit to healthy school meals for all, together we dramatically reduced childhood hunger and poverty. But now, the Senate’s failure to act has meant needed help has run out just as rising prices have made things much harder for families. Hunger is rising. Women can’t return to work because child care is unaffordable or unavailable. We can’t give up now.
Then because the Senate failed to act, the Child Tax Credit payments stopped in January, and 3.7 million children were plunged back into poverty.
These monthly payments also help alleviate the scourge of racial inequality in the U.S. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that 9.9 million children will fall back into poverty or deeper into poverty without an extension of the expanded CTC―and disproportionate poverty for Black, Latinx, and American Indian or Alaska Native (AIAN) children in particular will grow even worse.
Click here to write to your members of Congress and demand they immediately invest in programs that lift up children and families. We have the tools at our disposal. Congress just needs the political will to act.
We know that when children do not have nutritious meals, they are more likely to fall behind in school and experience more health problems. Now, as rising costs and supply shortages have hit school food programs, Congress needs to provide more funding so more high-poverty communities can provide free meals to all students. Of course, children need to eat when school is out, so Congress should create a nationwide Summer EBT program, providing debit cards for eligible families to help them purchase food when schools are closed.
Finally, we cannot fully invest in families if we don’t address the crisis in child care and early education.
The Biden administration and the House have proposed adding billions of dollars into federally supported child care and pre-k programs. This will help ensure child care doesn’t bankrupt families with low and moderate incomes, ensure child care workers are paid a fair wage of at least $15 an hour, and provide voluntary free pre-school for 3- and 4-year-olds.
Aside from difficulties finding quality child care spots, costs remain astronomical―exceeding $10,000 a year in many parts of the country. Under the President’s plan, the cost of child care would be capped at 7% of a family’s earnings for millions of working families.
Join CHN and our national partners in demanding Congress act immediately to pass critical policies to help millions of women, children, and families cope with rising prices and avert hunger and poverty.