Improving children’s health on the front lines of care
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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Written Testimony to the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities

On October 1, 2021, Children's HealthWatch submitted testimony in strong support of An Act to lift kids out of deep poverty (H.199/S.96) and An Act concerning public assistance for working families and the creation of a pilot program to address…
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Written Testimony to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means

On October 1, 2021, Children's HealthWatch and the rest of the Healthy Families EITC Coalition submitted testimony to inform the distribution plan for the $4.8 billion in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding in Massachusetts. On behalf…
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A Bulwark Against the Storm: The unequal impact of COVID relief policies on families with young children

Summary of Findings While overall rates of food insecurity across the country remained stable between 2019 and 2020 – likely a result of robust investments in relief programs – families with young children, families of color, and immigrants…
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Building an Equitable Future for Children and Families: Key Policy Opportunities to Support Children's Health and Well-Being

Originally posted on the Community Catalyst Blog. It’s been six months since passage of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), and provisions designed to decrease child poverty and increase health coverage and access are making an impact.…
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How the Child Tax Credit Can Break Cycles of Addiction | Opinion

Originally posted on Newsweek. Next week, 36 million American households will receive their third monthly payment of the recently expanded Child Tax Credit. The credit, which has a long history of bipartisan support and was increased under…
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Children's HealthWatch Is Deeply Concerned With the Consequences of the Supreme Court’s Decision to Overturn the National Eviction Moratorium

As a network of pediatricians and child health researchers, Children’s HealthWatch is deeply concerned with the impending and devastating consequences of the Supreme Court’s decision on August 26th to overturn the national eviction moratorium.…

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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