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As the child tax credit ends, one family navigates a new, familiar reality

Originally posted on The Boston Globe. For six months, direct payments to children changed the household math for many families. Now they’re over. Starting in July, Rebecca Wood’s tight family budget was buoyed by a federal payment that…
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The sunsetting of the child tax credit expansion could leave many families without enough food on the table

Originally posted on The Conversation. The discontinuation of the Biden administration’s monthly payments of the child tax credit could leave millions of American families without enough food on the table, according to our new study in…
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Advance Child Tax Credits Reduced US Food Insufficiency by 26 Percent

Originally posted on Boston University School of Public Health. January 15 will mark the first time in seven months that the families of more than 61 million children in the United States will not receive a monthly payment of the advance…
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Association of the Implementation of Child Tax Credit Advance Payments With Food Insufficiency in US Households

Key Points Question: Was the introduction of advance payments for the Child Tax Credit associated with food insufficiency in US households? Findings: In this cross-sectional study using repeated surveys of a nationally representative…
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Advance Child Tax Credit payments cut food insufficiency by 26%, study finds

Originally posted on United Press International. Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Advance Child Tax Credit payments, part of last year's federal American Rescue Plan, reduced food insufficiency, or lack of food, in households across the country by 26%,…
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Special Pandemic Payments Staved Off Hunger for Children's Families

Originally posted on MedPage Today. — Should the expired Child Tax Credit policy be carried forward? The Child Tax Credit safeguarded U.S. families with children from food insufficiency during the pandemic and should be made permanent, researchers…
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The immigrant birthweight paradox in an urban cohort: Role of immigrant enclaves and ambient air pollution

Immigrants are a rapidly growing population in the United States (US). By the year 2065, immigrants and subsequent generations will account for 88% of the country’s growth or ~103 million people [1]. As such, research that investigates drivers…
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Child hunger is expected to worsen

Originally posted on NPR. NPR's Ailsa Chang speaks with pediatrician Dr. Megan Sandel about how the pandemic has exasperated child hunger in the country and could worsen as pandemic-relief programs run out.
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Why one senator just blew up Joe Biden's presidential plans

Originally posted on CBC News. The Build Back Better bill passed by the House of Representatives offered paid parental leave for a country that lacks it, universal preschool, cheaper child care for 20 million children, lower costs for some…

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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