Early Childhood Programs and Child Tax Credit Outreach

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

The 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.

Each qualifying household can get 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 can receive half of their new credit in 2021 and the remaining half in 2022 when they file a tax return.

While most families will receive advance CTC payments automatically (these are called “advance payments” because they come before next year’s tax filing deadline), roughly 4 million or more children are in families that may need assistance signing up for the payments and filing a tax return to get the remaining credit in 2022.

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, French, Spanish, 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. Use these resources to prepare staff to answer basic questions about the CTC. Staff with additional capacity can help parents use GetCTC.org.
  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 Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) themselves. 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 this multilingual social media toolkit to share content in Arabic, Chinese, French, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

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

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