Families used the expanded child tax credit (CTC) to supplement their income and afford the necessities for their family. Parents such as Margaret Langsenkamp, who faced high child care costs in Exeter, New Hampshire, utilized the payments to afford child care in order to continue working.
Since their daughter was born, Margaret and her husband have continually paid a large portion of their income on child care: $12,000 per year for infant care and $100 per week for pre-K. Their daughter is now in elementary school, and since Margaret and her husband both regularly work past school hours, they continue to pay $100 per week for after-school care. When the monthly CTC arrived, it cut their monthly child care costs by more than half.
When my daughter was an infant, my husband and I both worked full time. We ended up paying about $12,000 per year on child care. We barely made ends meet. Child care assistance and free pre-K back then would have made such a difference for us. This past summer, our child care costs went up by $160 per month. The child tax credit really helped us cover those costs.
Since the expanded CTC expired, families again need child care investment and support. Congress must not abandon proposals to reduce child care costs and to strengthen the child care industry.
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.