73% of Respondents Said it was “Extremely Important” for Their Families for Child Checks to Continue Past This Year
Politically Popular: 61% More likely to Vote for Politicians who Support the Extension of Monthly Payments
October 5, 2021 — According to a new survey of American parents released by ParentsTogether Action, a family advocacy organization representing 2.5 million parents from across the United States, parents who have received the Child Tax Credit (CTC) monthly payments expressed widespread concern about the payments stopping at the end of the year and the desire for the program to continue.
A majority of parents (62%) reported that the monthly payments have made a “huge difference” for their families so far this year. This number increased from August, when 50% of parents surveyed said the first monthly payment made a “huge difference.” 64% of respondents said they have been less anxious about their family’s finances since the monthly payments began, up from 56% in August.
After passage in Biden’s American Rescue Plan, the expanded Child Tax Credit has sent families monthly payments of up to $300 per child since July, and Congress is currently deciding whether to extend it past this year as part of the Build Back Better Act.
When parents were asked how their financial situation will change if the CTC payments stop after December, 22% said they would no longer be able to meet their family’s basic needs and 56% said it would be “more difficult” to meet their family’s basic needs. If Congress does not act to extend the payments after December 2021:
- 40% said they would need to start spending their savings just to meet their family’s most basic needs
- 36% said they would no longer be able to pay for extracurricular activities for their kids
- 27% said they would no longer be able to save money for their child’s future
- 25% said they would no longer be able to afford their rent/mortgage
- 23% said they wouldn’t be able to buy enough food
The survey results made clear that not only is the expansion of the CTC successful in eliminating poverty and financial anxiety, but also a smart political choice. 61% of respondents said they would be much more likely to vote for politicians who supported the extension of the monthly payments. Only 5% of respondents said that they would be less likely to vote for politicians who supported the expanded Child Tax Credit.
“After a few months of the expanded child tax credit, parents across the country are expressing gratitude and relief that they are better able to stay on top of their bills, start their kids in extracurricular activities, and start saving for their children’s futures,” said Justin Ruben, co-Director of ParentsTogether. “We know the expanded Child Tax Credit is good policy, but its wide popularity shows that it’s also good politics. It’s now up to Congress to listen to the parents they represent and make these payments permanent. Parents are telling us they are watching closely what Congress does– and will vote accordingly.”
In their own words, parents expressed the importance of the monthly payments:
If it weren’t for Child Checks, I would not be able to pay my utility bills. I’m a single parent of 2 and it’s hard in this day and age for single parents raising kids on their own. I have 2 jobs and still struggle. But thanks to Child Checks I have been able to pay my utilities for me and my kids. – Jessica, Mississippi
[The checks] have made a huge difference. Before we got the check, I was extremely worried about how I was going to get school clothes and [our kids] shoes. The electric bill has been a stress for a while and it’s nice to be able to put some money away for their college. It’s been very nice being able to get some better food for them. Next month, the check will buy the boys’ winter coats. – Karen, Maryland
It’s been the perfect timing for them, actually. We just had our 5th child four months ago, so it’s been helpful with all the expenses of raising a child. This money can be helpful in many ways to many families. Whether it’s saving for college, extra tutoring outside of school, all these things contribute to the enrichment of our children’s lives. Let’s not also forget the parents who are using this money for basic necessities like housing and food. – Sarah, Arizona
It has been a life saver since I have been the only one with income in our household at the moment. 3 of us are living on my social security since my son’s dad was laid off. It has helped tremendously. – Sarah, Oregon