Early Childhood Programs and Child Tax Credit Outreach

Last Updated August 11, 2022

You can access the following early childhood programs and Child Tax Credit guidance as a Google doc here.

The 2021 Child Tax Credit expansion provides a historic opportunity to reduce child poverty in the United States by more than 40 percent. Nearly every family is eligible to receive the expanded Child Tax Credit this year, including families who haven’t filed a tax return and families who don’t have recent income. Even though the tax season has ended, eligible families can claim the CTC through November 15, 2022. Your continued outreach efforts are needed!

The expanded Child Tax Credit provides each qualifying household up to $3,600 for each child under age 6 and $3,000 for each child between 6 and 17. The credit is not a loan, and it does not change eligibility for public benefits.

Families that received the first half of the CTC through advance payments in 2021, must file a 2021 tax return to get the remainder of the credit. Families that did not get the advance payments last year, can get the full Child Tax Credit by filing a 2021 tax return.

Early childhood programs have a unique opportunity to directly reach parents and guardians for CTC outreach. Programs can play an important role in bringing in millions of dollars in much needed support to the most vulnerable families.

Here are five ways early childhood programs can engage CTC outreach efforts.

  1. Include CTC messaging in written communications. Send newsletters or emails to families alerting them about the credit and how to get it. Include flyers or postcards in regular mailings and staff notices. Use multilingual materials available in Arabic, Chinese, Creole, French, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.
  2. Post CTC information online. Add information about the credit and how to get it to websites, and online applications.
  3. Train staff to be CTC advocates. Prepare all staff to ask parents, “Have you received all of your Child Tax Credit payments?” Staff can direct families who haven’t to GetCTC. Use these resources to train staff who are interested in answering questions about the CTC and helping parents file on GetCTC. Share this 20-minute video to hear how a school district has been successfully conducting CTC outreach efforts.

4. Hold a CTC information session for families. Share eligibility basics, how to get the credit, and address common concerns. For example, let families know that parents and guardians can get the CTC for children with Social Security numbers even if they have an expired Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). (They will need to renew their ITIN before filing.) Use the CTC FAQs to answer questions that arise.

5. Post CTC information on social media. Use this social media toolkit to share information about the credit on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. And use these multilingual social media posts to share content in Arabic, Chinese, Creole, French, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.

For additional resources to support CTC outreach activities, visit: www.taxoutreach.org/coronavirus.

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