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President Biden made clear in his proposed budget that his administration will continue to focus on strengthening the national economy so all Americans can prosper. While we are encouraged by President Biden’s proposed expansion of the Child Tax Credit, increased investment into early care and education, and other programs that improve outcomes for children and youth—we call on the President and Congress to further commit to expanding and strengthening supports for this nation’s most marginalized.
Now more than ever, young people and their families rely on continued support from their elected representatives. For the millions of families experiencing or on the brink of poverty, this is a vital increased investment in the programs and services that provide equitable access to affordable housing, food, medical care, and education. But pandemic-era relief policies like SNAP emergency allotments and Universal Free Meals—which made historic gains against poverty—have already or are set to expire this spring.
There is still much to do.
President Biden’s budget continues his commitment to ensuring all families can access affordable, high-quality early care and learning opportunities. Enriching environments during the first few years are critical to brain development and growth, but for too many families, the cost of child care is simply out of reach. Affordable, high-quality child care and expanded access to preschool give our nation’s children the foundation they need to thrive.
For Black and Brown young people especially, the pandemic-era expansion of the federal Child Tax Credit (CTC) had an enormous impact—lifting nearly 3 million children out of poverty and preventing an additional 2.1 million children from experiencing poverty in 2021. For the 1.4 million Black and Brown children and youth impacted, this meant less food insecurity, more safety and stability to grow and thrive, and greater opportunities for a brighter future.
With monthly payments from the expanded CTC, families were able to pay their bills, buy groceries, keep their homes, and reduce their overall financial stress.
The prioritization of opportunities for economic advancement and financial security for Black and Brown communities is evident in the President’s call for permanent reforms to healthcare costs. Under the Affordable Care Act, our nation saw historically high rates of families with healthcare coverage. As a result, more children and youth had access to essential healthcare services including diagnostic and treatment services. By permanently lowering healthcare costs, young people can receive quality healthcare and improve their overall lifetime health outcomes.
Through our work with the Automatic Benefit for Children (ABC) coalition, we bring together leading organizations that advocate for the welfare of children. With your help, we can echo the need for meaningful and substantive provisions that include economic relief and extended healthcare resources for families and children across the nation.