In Defense of Children

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Viewpoints and analysis from the CDF Policy team on issues impacting children. CDF’s policy advocacy focuses on the whole child because children don’t come in pieces. We seek to end child poverty and give every child a healthy start, a quality early childhood experience, a level education playing field, safe families and communities free from violence—with special attention to children involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.


To Build Back Better and Advance Racial Equity, Congress Must Pass a Robust Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) this Year

Children and families need ongoing support and access to healthy, nutritious meals during the pandemic and beyond. We cannot revert back to strict, outdated, and inflexible standards that leave millions of children—disproportionately Black, Latinx, and Indigenous children—behind and vulnerable to hunger. To truly build back better and advance racial equity, we must fully and finally eliminate barriers to healthy food and success for all children. Congress can—and must—begin right now and advance a bold CNR bill.

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Immigrant Children are Children, and All Children Should Be Eligible for the Child Tax Credit

More than 1 in 4, or approximately 18 million, children in the U.S. live with at least one immigrant parent or are immigrants themselves. For children—and this nation—to flourish and prosper, we must commit to policies that reflect this demographic reality and promote all children’s well-being. Yet far too many federal poverty-fighting tools operate from a default position of immigrant exclusion, leaving too many children behind. Our leaders must lean into this opportunity to make expansions to the Child Tax Credit (CTC) permanent, accessible, inclusive, and fair.

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The Biden Administration’s Simplified Filing Tool Will Boost Participation in the Expanded CTC…If It’s Built Well

The IRS will release a simplified filing tool, which will help many of the millions of newly eligible families who are not required to file a full tax return to receive the CTC and the third Economic Impact Payment (EIP) - critical benefits to which they are entitled.

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The Supreme Court Decision on Juvenile Life Without Parole Goes Against Decades of Law and Understandings of Adolescent Development

Last month, the Supreme Court ruled on the Jones v Mississippi case making it easier for children and teens to be sentenced to life without parole—a decision that shifts away from decades of law recognizing that children are distinct from adults and that their age should be considered in situations where they face severe punishment in the criminal justice system.

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What the American Families Plan Means for our Nation’s Children

On the eve of his 100th day in office, President Biden released the American Families Plan, outlining a bold proposal with $1.8 trillion in historic investments in our nation’s children and families including expanded tax credits, investments in child care, universal preschool, two years of tuition-free community college, a national paid leave program, and more.

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The Child Care for Working Families Act Will Support Children, Families, and Workers

Last week, Senator Patty Murray and Representative Bobby Scott introduced the Child Care for Working Families Act of 2021 which would increase children’s access to high-quality learning opportunities, help parents and especially moms return to the workforce, and support an under-resourced and under-valued but critical workforce largely made up of women of color.

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The College for All Act Will Open Doors to Higher Education and Economic Mobility

Although more than 6 in 10 jobs require some education beyond a high school diploma, the financial burden of attending a college or university leaves higher education out of reach for many young people. The College for All Act will address these financial barriers to higher education for students of color and students from lower-income families.

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For Black Mamas and Black Sons

This week, in honor of Black mamas and of Black sons, we’re standing with those protesting this latest example of police violence and calling on lawmakers at all levels of government to enact policies that abolish systems of racism and white supremacy that consistently, tragically tear Black children away from their mothers. We cannot rest until that happens.

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Thousands of Children Have Lost a Parent Due to COVID-19

This week, research findings provide another harrowing reminder of the trauma this pandemic has wreaked on children and families across the country: An estimated 40,000 children have lost a parent due to COVID-19. Though children are less likely to die from COVID-19, they are not being left unscathed by the loss and grief of the pandemic. Our children must remain the top priority in our response to this crisis.

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