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One In Five Ohio Children Live in Poverty. The New Child Tax Credit Could Change That

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The $1.9 trillion federal stimulus package that passed Wednesday includes a provision raising and expanding eligibility for the Child Tax Credit. Qualifying parents will be able to receive $300 a month per child under the age of six and $250 for children ages six to 17.

This could have a significant impact on the approximately one in five children in Ohio who live in poverty. Analysis from the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that about one-third of truck and delivery drivers, child care workers, and agricultural workers in the U.S. stand to benefit from the provision.

Tracy Nájera, Executive Director of Children’s Defense Fund Ohio, said the increase in aid would provide financial stability for many working Ohio families struggling to pay rent and buy groceries.

“The research is clear: when children have the resources that they need, the food, parental support, they have housing, they have health care, they are so much better equipped to thrive throughout childhood, to reach those educational aspirations that they may have and to be successful adults,” she said. “When children don't have those things, they struggle.”

A report from the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University found that the relief package has the potential to cut the country’s child poverty rate in half.

“I can't underscore the importance of this provision and the fact that we really believe that it will make a significant impact on child poverty rates,” Nájera said. “It also represents a down payment on ending child poverty in this country.”

While working at the station Leila Goldstein has covered the economic effects of grocery cooperatives, police reform efforts in Dayton and the local impact of the coronavirus pandemic on hiring trends, telehealth and public parks. She also reported Trafficked, a four part series on misinformation and human trafficking in Ohio.