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How the Child Tax Credit Provides Parents Peace & Critical Support

For parents like Cheryse Singleton-Nobles, the Child Tax Credit is helping families keep striving and raising successful children.

August 10, 2021
  • Equity
  • Family Engagement
  • Policy and Systems
  • Blog

Last month, families across the country began receiving the first payments under the Advance Child Tax Credit (ACTA), a part of the American Rescue Plan Act. For many families with young children, like Educare Chicago parent Cheryse Singleton-Nobles, the expanded Child Tax Credit offers integral support that increases their ability to provide a stable environment and experiences for their children to thrive.

“A lot of us are struggling. Even though the pandemic is ending, that doesn’t end the financial impacts it created,” Cheryse shares.

“We need the Child Tax Credit to survive. We need it for our families, to help our businesses grow, for school supplies, to put gas in the car. We need it so our families can keep striving and so we can raise successful young individuals."

Cheryse Singleton-Nobles
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Across the nation, even as employment is rising and strains on household budgets have eased in recent months families continue to struggle. One in three adults with children report difficulty covering usual household expenses, and one in eight report their families don’t have enough to eat. This financial strain and chronic stress can undermine young children’s sense of security, safety and joy. If prolonged, it can have a negative, long-term impact on their development.

“If it’s stressful for an adult, imagine how stressful this time has been for young children whose entire routine was disturbed,” Cheryse continues. “The Child Tax Credit puts us in a place of peace so that we can be in a better mental state to focus on doing more for our children and not worrying as much about things getting turned off or bills not being paid.”

The expanded Child Tax Credit will help directly alleviate the strain that so many families are experiencing on multiple fronts. Eligible families will receive up to $3,600 per child under age 6 and $3,000 for children ages 6 to 17, with half made available to families in advance through six monthly payments and the rest claimed when they file their tax returns.

Many organizations, including our own Educare Learning Network, are proactively reaching out to educate families on the tax filing process and helping them take full advantage of the Child Tax Credit. At Educare Chicago, “staff let us know it was coming, who to contact and offered to assist with the tax filing process,” Cheryse shares.

What does the Child Tax Credit Mean for Your Family?

Our partners at the Educare Learning Network are collecting quotes and stories about the importance of the Child Tax Credit. Tell us what the Child Tax Credit means for your family, your finances and your future.

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In addition to household essentials, Cheryse underscored the importance of the payments to help parents meet their children’s educational and developmental needs. “For instance, a family with a child with disabilities can use this money to pay for equipment and materials that aren’t covered by insurance,” she says. “With the extra money being sent, it’s like, ‘Whoa, okay, I can breathe.’”

The Child Tax Credit is one of the critical supports for working families that can and should be made permanent by the passage of the American Families Plan. Other transformative investments included in the plan would help defray the costs of child care and offer families more child care options, two issues families continue to grapple with. Two out of three working parents (63%) and nearly all low-income parents (95%) report having a hard time.

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