New Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty Recommends Expanding EITC, CDCTC

By Devin Simpson

A new set of policy recommendations aimed at significantly reducing child poverty within ten years includes expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC).

The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s “Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty” began as a request from Congress to conduct a comprehensive study of child poverty in the U.S. and identify evidence-based solutions for reducing the number of children living in poverty by 50 percent within ten years. As a result, researchers identified ten existing programs and policies that increase workforce participation and support household income and created four potential policy packages that vary in impact and cost. Of the ten policies, the EITC and CDCTC are the only two to be included in all four packages. 

The roadmap recommends two options for expanding the federal EITC: either increasing the credit amount for workers with lower incomes (those who receive the EITC during the “phase-in” and “flat” stages), or increasing the credit amount by 40 percent for all eligible filers. The roadmap also recommends making the CDCTC fully refundable to reach extremely low-income families.

Greg Duncan, chair of the Committee on Building an Agenda to Reduce the Number of Children Living in Poverty by Half in 10 Years said, “We’ve developed a road map – a set of options – for policymakers and the public they serve to review, analyze and decide what kind of legislation they want to enact. Acting on this report’s conclusions and recommendations will not only accomplish dramatic reductions in child poverty but also build a healthier and more prosperous nation.”

To learn more about each policy package and its impact on child poverty rates, read the full report here.