Building on the American Rescue Plan to Reduce Child Poverty in 200 Words

Lifting children out of poverty is critical to improving their health and supporting healthy development. Provisions of the recent American Rescue Plan (ARP) could cut child poverty in the United States nearly in half and address inequities that disproportionately harm people of color. This is a remarkable and important step, yet these provisions are temporary and should be made permanent.

In an effort led by the First Focus Campaign for Children, PolicyLab and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia were signatories to a letter to President Biden that calls for making permanent the ARP’s expansion of the Child Tax Credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit.

Each of these provisions offer direct cash assistance to families with children. We are particularly supportive of the letter recognizing that all children, regardless of immigration status, should be eligible for these benefits.

In two op-eds in the Philadelphia Inquirer, PolicyLab team members have been raising their collective voices on what the poverty-reducing provisions of the ARP could mean for families in Philadelphia, the poorest big city in the country, and the importance of making these provisions permanent. Tyler DeRubio and Leigh Wilson-Hall highlight that in its previous structure, the families hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic would not be eligible for the critical assistance of the Child Tax Credit. While Dr. George Dalembert, who is also founding director of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Medical Financial Partnership, focuses on the enhanced Child Tax Credit as an investment in our future. It is our hope that we commit to making that investment a reality.

This post is part of our “____ in 200 Words” series. In this series, we tackle issues related to children’s health policy and explain and connect you to resources to help understand them further, all in 200 words. If you have any suggestions for a topic in this series, please send a note to PolicyLab’s Strategic Operations & Communications Director Lauren Walens.