If I had been receiving the Child Tax Credit on a monthly basis a few years ago, it would have saved my job.
I went back to school in 2015 to get a second bachelor’s degree. I graduated on the Dean’s List and earned a grant to research drone service integration. But far too often, I had to turn down opportunities simply because I’m a father to two boys who I love dearly.
I had to turn down a T.A. position at the California University of Pennsylvania because it did not pay enough to offset the cost of daycare. This also happened with a second job and an internship. When I finally did land a full-time job, I was on a waiting list for daycare services. But, the job wouldn’t last.
When my kids’ school announced an unexpected early dismissal, I had to leave work two hours early to get my neurodivergent son off the bus. My boss fired me the next day. Had the Child Tax Credit payments been coming monthly back then, I could have afforded daycare at the time and kept my job.
Working families with children are frequently faced with tough decisions, and the pandemic only added to the dynamic stress between raising our children while providing for them financially.
The monthly CTC payments made a difference for my family when we were receiving them. We could buy more fruits and vegetables, a backpack, clothes, and other essentials for our kids. I’m sure that if we were still receiving the CTC right now, we’d be using some of it to cover the rising cost of gas, too.
I know the Child Tax Credit helps working families like mine – especially in times of climbing prices. Hopefully, our representatives in Congress will do the right thing and extend it – especially now, when times are tough.
Joseph Phillips – Brownsville, PA