On June 15, 2023, First Focus on Children hosted a webinar “Invest in Kids Briefing” as part of their Children’s Week 2023. This event brought members of Congress and experts together to discuss how the Federal Government can work to meet the needs of children and families through increased funding.
Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) emphasized that the cost of raising a child in the United States is among the highest in the world, despite being one of the wealthiest countries. She, Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), and Casey Peeks, the Director of Federal Policy of the Children’s Defense Fund all spoke about how the Child Tax Credit (CTC) successfully lessened the financial burden on families across the country. Representative DeLauro credited the CTC with a 26% decline in hunger and keeping nearly four million children out of poverty. With the CTC’s expiration, this progress reversed, and now its reauthorization is a top priority for House Democrats.
Patty Cole, Senior Director of Federal Policy at ZERO TO THREE, highlighted that development in the first three years of a child’s life is crucial, and sets the tone for all that follows. Representative DeLauro cited the return on investment for investing in children as nearly $7 for every $1 spent, and Ms. Cole explains that this is at its highest when the investment is made in a child’s first three years, when that child is in the early stages of development.
Representative Tlaib, Representative DeLauro, and Representative Jimmy Gomez (D-CA), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Mamas’, Baby, and Dads Caucuses, respectively, each spoke about the importance of these three groups working together to create policy that supports working families. They echoed the necessity of reauthorizing the CTC and lifting families out of poverty by reducing the financial burden of raising children in the United States.
By Leah Sarfity, Policy Intern