“As we want to do all we can to reach missing children, the most dramatic impact on child poverty will automatically occur” as the program will reach around 26 million children whose families are known but earn too little. to fully benefit from the previous credit. . “It will be huge. “
By making monthly payments, the program seeks to address the income fluctuations frequently experienced by poor families. One unknown is how families will spend the money, with critics predicting waste and supporters saying parents know their children’s needs.
When Fresh EBT asked users about their spending plans, the responses differed from those regarding stimulus checks. “We have seen more responses specifically related to children – school clothes, school supplies, toddler bed,” Ms. Taylor said. “It tells me that framing the advantage is important. “
There is evidence for this theory. When Britain renamed its ‘family allowance’ to ‘children’s allowance’ in the 1970s and paid mothers instead of fathers, families spent less on tobacco and men’s clothing and more on clothing. for children, pocket money and toys.
“Calling something a child allowance frames the way families spend money,” said Jane Waldfogel, a professor from Columbia who has studied the UK program.
While the payments will significantly reduce poverty, most beneficiaries are not poor. Jennifer Werner and her husband had a family income of around $ 75,000 before quitting her job as a property manager in Las Vegas two years ago to care for her first child. Since then, she has used her savings to extend her time as a stay-at-home mom.
Ms Werner, 45, supports the one-year benefit but wants to see the results before deciding whether it should last. “When you have a child, you realize that it is expensive – diapers, wipes, extra food,” she said. But she added, “I don’t know where all this money is coming from. “