Economic Security

Supporting families’ fundamental needs. 

Family stability is supported when families have access to safe neighborhoods where children can grow and play, and the income they need to meet basic needs such as stable housing, food and nutrition, and diaper supplies. Families need a range of equitable policies that bolster economic security when children are young and their development most sensitive to economic want. The expanded Child Tax Credit is a proven tool to reduce child poverty and support families in creating the environment in which young children thrive.

Take Action

Tell Congress to #ThinkBabiesAndAct and support the economic security of families with young children! 


Even before the COVID pandemic, 2 in 5 infants and toddlers in the United States already lived in families whose economic security was precarious.


Poverty affects children’s brain development and learning. Children who start out in poverty are more likely to fall behind in self-regulation, learning, memory, and language and emotional control.


Babies in families with low income are 3.5 times more likely to have two or more adverse child experiences.


The expanded Child Tax Credit expanded under COVID relief brought more than three million children out of poverty every month when monthly payments were available.


85% of parents with children ages 0-3 say it is important for Congress to reinstate the enhanced Child Tax Credit.

The Expanded Child Tax Credit

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 included an enhanced and fully refundable Child Tax Credit (CTC) with higher monthly payments for families with young children. This expansion, which expired in December 2021, provided critical resources for families with infants and toddlers. Year-end legislation provides an opportunity for Congress to restore it and permanently make the credit fully refundable so that even families with very low or no income could benefit.

What it could mean for babies:

The expanded Child Tax Credit led to a historic reduction in poverty by providing families with monthly payments that helped them make ends meet and nurture their young children. This support is particularly impactful for babies. Helping families meet basic needs such as food and shelter boosts child development by directly providing essential ingredients for healthy growth and alleviating some of the stress families endure when their children have to go without the basics.

Advocacy Tools & Resources

Think Babies Storybook: Read and share this storybook which features stories from Strolling Thunder™ families and makes the developmental case for the policies babies and families have long waited for: high-quality, affordable child care, the expanded Child Tax Credit, and a national paid family and medical leave program.

ZERO TO THREE/Morning Consult Poll: A new poll from ZERO TO THREE and Morning Consult, conducted in the wake of the 2022 midterm elections, shows that the vast majority of parents of infants and toddlers want to see swift Congressional action to reinstate the enhanced Child Tax Credit. Check out the key findings.

State of Babies Yearbook: 2022: Use national and state-by-state data on the well-being of infants and toddlers to call on federal, state, and local policymakers to improve outcomes for babies and families.

Hunger, Poverty, Health, and Federal Nutrition Programs: Use these state fact sheets, from Think Babies and the Food Research Action Center, for national and state-specific rates of hunger and poverty experienced by infants and toddlers as well as the data on the impact of federal programs in the state.

Building Strong FoundationsLearn more about the core policies that support good health, secure and stable families, and positive early learning environments for infants and toddlers.