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.