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Baby Steps: Economic Inclusion Gains in States

It will continue to take innovative policies and programs to lift families out of poverty and improve the lives of infants and toddlers. As state legislative sessions across the country begin to close, we are excited to see how new gains in economic inclusion policies will benefit babies and their families.

• Modifications to the Colorado Works Program, the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, will increase basic cash assistance, make improvements to how families are served, create a smooth off-ramp from the program, and improve engagement and outreach to families.

• In Connecticut, HB 5506 provides a new TANF eligibility formula that will make it easier to apply for support and increases monthly income payments for families. Additionally, the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit increased from 30.5 percent to 41.5 percent of the federal credit, and the state will implement a new temporary Child Tax Credit.

• New paid parental leave legislation for eligible South Carolina state employees allows six weeks of paid leave to birthing or primary care parents and two weeks to co-parents and foster parents.

• Finally, legislation in Vermont will provide 3.44 million dollars to expand the state’s Child and Dependent Care Credit, providing a refundable tax credit equivalent to 72 percent of the federal credit for all Vermont families paying out of pocket for care. Additionally, the state established a refundable Child Tax Credit of 1,000 dollars per child aged five or younger for families with up to 125,000 dollars in adjusted gross income.

To learn more about how early childhood stakeholders can play a significant role in supporting the economic security of families in service of stronger outcomes for infants and toddlers, read ZERO TO THREE’s Pathways to Prosperity report.


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