Unpaid Caregivers Participate in Child Tax Credit Awareness Day, and Press Policy Makers to Make the Child Tax Credit Permanent and Pay It to the Primary Caretaker

ISSUED BY: Care Income Now/US careincomenow@globalwomenstrike.net

Care Income Now/US is participating in the Monday, June 21 Child Tax Credit (CTC) Awareness Day. Our multi-racial urban and rural network is releasing a letter calling on President Biden, Vice President Harris, elected officials, and the Treasury Department to make the credits a permanent child benefit payable by default to the mother or primary caregiver, the best guarantee that children will benefit, the caregiving work of the mother or primary caregiver will be recognized and domestic violence victims – one in four women – will not be dependent on the main breadwinner, usually a man. Click here to read letter. We are also continuing our public information campaign to get the word out about CTC to our communities with a particular focus on impoverished mothers. 

On June 21, caregivers in the Bay Area CA, Fort Collins CO, Los Angeles CA and Philadelphia PA will be getting out CTC information. “As a mom and grandmom and the editor of a magazine that for decades focused on the care of our children, I wish CTC was available when my children were younger,” says Peggy O’Mara former editor of Mothering magazine and a coordinator of Care Income Now.

Money going to mothers explodes the myth of the lazy scrounger seeking a handout, a myth used to demonize Black single mothers on welfare and deny all mothers what is rightfully ours,.” says Margaret Prescod from Women of Color in the Global Women’s Strike, also a coordinator of Care Income Now.

During the 2020 presidential campaign, we formed Election Action for Caregivers and advocated for a refundable CTC that would go to all families and applauded President Biden’s inclusion of one in his American Rescue Plan. Now we are calling on President Biden, Vice President Harris, and members of Congress to make the CTC permanent and paid to all Primary Caregivers. Influenced by our advocacy, the Children’s Defense Fund and its ABC coalition is also calling for the CTC to go to the Primary Caregiver.  

For millions of parents, low wages and minimal benefits make it difficult, if not impossible, to take care of loved ones. As a result, twelve million children now live in food insecure households. Tragically, 70% of adult wage earners who are enrolled in Medicaid or receive food assistance (SNAP) work full-time. For this reason, we are also calling for an increase of the minimum wage to $15 an hour, a campaign promise of President Biden’s.

When mothers in our network were asked how a refundable CTC of $250 to $300 a month would help their families, here’s a sampling what they said:

“When my children were young, my ex-husbands controlled the taxes and I had to beg them for money for myself and the children. We got about $1000 in child tax credits, but one of my ex-husbands blew the money on fancy shoes for himself, and the other one used it to buy himself an electric guitar when the kids needed new glasses.”

With tax credits payments, I would struggle less with buying the necessary foods for my disabled daughter’s immune system that enable her to walk. Last week I was only able to buy two quarts when she needs ten.

“It would help me pay the bills and afford bus fare for taking the children to appointments. I could buy them socks and underwear as they grow out of them.”

“I might have been able to get a car.”

“My son would not have felt the shame of being poor. We could have shopped at a regular store and not a thrift store.

“If I had had this when my daughter was young, I would not have gone into debt every month.”