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Children’s HealthWatch is a nonpartisan network of pediatricians, public health researchers, and children’s health and policy experts committed to improving children’s health in America.

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Children’s HealthWatch Statement on Child Poverty & Averting a Government Shutdown

This month, the U.S. Census Bureau released new data that showed the rate of children living in poverty more than doubled in 2022, from 5.2% in 2021 to 12.4% in 2022. These data come from the 2022 Supplemental Poverty Measure, which accounts…

This Republican senator wants an expanded child tax credit — with work requirements

An unusual thing happened a couple of years ago: nearly 3 million children in the United States were lifted out of poverty. That's because of an expansion of the child tax credit, which was passed as a part of the federal COVID relief package. Fast…
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Subsidized meals in child care tied to healthier kids and families

Every day, more than 4.2 million children receive nutritious food and snacks through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), a federally funded, state-administered initiative that reimburses child-care centers and home day cares for…

Testimony in support of An Act establishing basic needs assistance for Massachusetts immigrant residents and An Act to lift kids out of deep poverty

Chair Kennedy, Chair Livingstone and distinguished members of the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities: Thank you for the opportunity to submit testimony on behalf of Children’s HealthWatch in strong…

New Study Links Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric to Decline in Preventive Healthcare for Children of Immigrant Mothers

Originally published on Express Healthcare Management. A recent study conducted by researchers at Boston University School of Public Health suggests that former President Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric may have contributed to a…

Childcare nutrition programs improve health outcomes, food security but are underfunded, researchers argue

Originally published on FoodNavigator-USA. Research that shows toddlers who receive meals and snacks from their childcare are healthier and more food secure than those who bring meals from home underscores the importance of and need to expand…

Diaper Pilot Program Aims to Keep Families Healthy, Working

Originally published on Public News Service. Massachusetts groups will be part of a new federal pilot program to help low-income families ensure they have the diapers they need to keep both babies and parents healthy. Studies show a lack…

Study blames Trump for decline in immigrant well-child healthcare visits

Originally published on UPI. Sept. 18 (UPI) -- A new study is blaming former President Donald Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric for a decline in preventative healthcare visits among children born to migrant mothers. Researchers at Boston…

Balancing Budgets by Emptying Bellies: WIC Cuts Would Harm Our Youngest Children

Originally published on The Brink. As Congress approaches its annual deadline to pass a new federal budget, a slew of spending bills from House Republicans threaten to gut evidence-based safety net programs. The latest targets: babies, children,…

Our Policy Focus Areas

Children’s HealthWatch research and policy analysis specifically focuses on the child health and developmental impacts of economic hardships with a particular focus on food insecurity, unstable housing, health care hardships and inability to afford adequate household energy.

  • Consistent access to food for all family members is crucial for ensuring children are healthy. Food and nutrition assistance programs are an essential cornerstone in supporting the health and well-being of low-income families.

  • Stable housing supports healthy growth and development among young children, and means families are not behind on rent, moving frequently, doubled up, overcrowded, or homeless. Policies that create affordable housing options that provide access to safe, stable housing help ensure young children and their families can thrive and be successful in life.

  • Maintaining consistent utility services so homes are heated in the winter and cooled in the summer is critical for children’s health and safety. Energy supports protect families from the harmful health effects of having their utilities shut off.

  • Health Care Hardships

    When families are forced to choose between paying for health care, such as medical care and prescriptions, and other basic needs such as food, rent, child care, or utility bills, that decision can have an effect on the health and wellbeing of young children. Providing supports necessary to care for children, especially those with special health care needs, is crucial for improving child health.

  • Alleviating economic hardships for families with young children will require comprehensive policy solutions including improvements to nutrition assistance programs, increasing access to affordable housing, providing energy assistance, making work pay through reducing cliff effects and increasing  and expanding access to the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, providing affordable child care to all children, and supporting the health and development of all children.


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