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How the Child Tax Credit Has Helped Arizona Residents Afford Child Care
Personal Story

How the Child Tax Credit Has Helped Arizona Residents Afford Child Care

An Arizona mother describes the struggle to afford child care and preschool costs for her 3-year-old daughter.

The expanded child tax credit (CTC) payments from the American Rescue Plan Act were a crucial lifeline for millions of parents. Families used the money to afford rent and pay down debt, and it helped parents such as Stephanie Klein in Phoenix afford child care.

A photo of Stephanie Klein and her daughter.

Stephanie Klein holds her daughter, Ruby Klein, in April 2022. (Photo credit: Aimee Blaisdell)

Last year, when Stephanie was between jobs, the CTC helped to cover her bills and keep her daughter enrolled in a child care program. The high cost and long waitlists at local child care facilities led Stephanie to find affordable care from an in-home provider. Now, Stephanie worries about the upcoming cost of preschool. She wants to set her daughter up for success and enroll her in preschool, but the price—in addition to the cost of care before and after school that Stephanie needs in order to work full time—is too high for her to afford.

My girl is so smart and would absolutely thrive in a preschool program. It kills me that I’m not able to afford putting her in preschool. But it is so cost prohibitive, it’s simply not an option for us. Stephanie Klein

When the CTC payments ended at the end of 2021, both lower-income and middle-income families faced financial hardship and difficult decisions. Making the expanded CTC permanent would help parents afford rising child care and preschool costs and remain in the workforce.

Read more stories on economic justice and health care

This storybook features women in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and New Hampshire whose stories center on issues from prescription drug pricing and health insurance, to child care and paid leave.

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