In today’s installment of We Are MomsRising, we talked to Te’Jal in Ohio again, this time about how the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit help her family! Te'Jal got to share this story with her Senator, Sherrod Brown, and discuss the importance of his new bill, the Working Families Tax Relief Act. Read her story below. To learn more about the We Are MomsRising campaign and to read Te'Jal's first post, check out this blog.
My name is Te’Jal, and I’m from Dayton. I’m a proud member of MomsRising, and my son Luke is celebrating his second birthday today! I know first hand why it’s crucial that we expand the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit. My family is one of the 44 million households that would benefit from the Working Families Tax Relief Act. I’m here to share my story and say why I hope Congress will pass this legislation, which would give working families much-needed support and help to increase opportunities for children.
My husband and I both work full-time - he’s a process design engineer at a factory, and I work at a nonprofit doing outreach. Money is really tight for us. We have to budget carefully to make sure our paychecks cover all our expenses, and it can be stressful. A primary reason is that having a two-year-old brings a lot of extra costs. These past two years have been filled with doctor’s visits, diapers, clothing he’s constantly outgrowing, and everything else that comes with having a baby who’s quickly becoming a toddler.
In particular, the cost of childcare eats up our paychecks. I work for a nonprofit that aims to increase the quality of preschool programs in our community. It’s important to me that my son gets high-quality, enriching early learning experiences, especially at this crucial stage in his development. But great programs are hard to find, we are limited on quality and the programs that are high quality have an extensive waiting list. While we’re happy with the one we’ve enrolled him in, it costs us $285 per week.
Without the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, we might not have been able to enroll him at all. In addition to helping us pay down debt, this year the EITC and Child Tax Credit credits went straight to the hundreds of dollars in deposits we put down to secure his spot. But in no way do these credits match up with the kinds of expenses we’re facing, and each month my family struggles to cover childcare, housing, health care, paying down debts, and building savings. For many families, expenses are even tighter, and a high-quality childcare program would not even be an option.
In short, the first six years of a child’s life are a time when families face tremendous costs, and our tax code does not do enough to address that. That’s why the Working Families Tax Relief Act is so urgently needed. By creating a fully refundable Child Tax Credit with a young child boost, as well as expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit, this legislation would make a huge difference for my family and for millions of others who are trying to give their children the best start possible.
For me personally, this legislation would give my family so much more space to breathe. It would mean we could put more money in savings so we’re not so stressed month-to-month. It would help us plan better for emergencies and for our child’s future. We could spend less energy worrying about money and instead focus on enjoying this precious time in our son’s life.
At the end of the day, kids are our future. It’s so important that we invest in our nation’s youngest learners, and we can’t do that without supporting the families that are raising them. Creating tax policies that support working families - instead of giving more tax breaks to billionaires and corporations - is a huge priority for my family and countless others in Ohio. I thank Senator Brown for introducing this impactful legislation and hope Congress will make it a high priority, too, and pass the Working Families Tax Relief Act as soon as possible. I know how much it would help my family.