This week, 39 million families with children will start to receive monthly payments to help make ends meet. According to researchers, the provision in President Biden’s American Rescue Plan that expands the Child Tax Credit (CTC) will reduce child poverty by 45 percent

Currently, we rank 37th among developed nations- just ahead of last-place Turkey- in how little we spend on family assistance. But with this game-changing new policy, the tax credit is increasing to $3,000 per child for children ages 6-17, and $3,600 for children under six, paid in monthly direct deposits or checks.  

The Biden plan eliminates an income threshold that shuts the poorest families out of the system. Before this, 27 million children—including roughly half of all Black children, Latino children, and rural children- did not receive the full tax credit because their parents earned too little. These monthly payments mean that families can count on a regular means to make ends meet, and for the first time, even families who owe $0 in taxes can still receive the full credit. 

Finally, the U.S. will be in line with other rich countries that provide a guaranteed income for children. 

NOW has been working for decades to enact this historic legislation for women and families. This victory is a true measure of the power and the strength of our mission.  We work on issues that can transform society and change the culture—and we stay focused for as long as it takes. 

But our mission is not yet complete.  In the coming weeks, you’ll be hearing more about the need to make the Child Tax Credit expansion permanent.  The American Rescue Plan only extended it for one year.  That’s simply not good enough. 

We have the opportunity to turn a corner on childhood poverty—and NOW is ready. As always, thank you for all you are doing as a NOW member and activist.