Raising a child is challenging even under normal circumstances, but with a devastating pandemic closing schools and childcare providers shutting their doors, this past year has been exceptionally …
Raising a child is challenging even under normal circumstances, but with a devastating pandemic closing schools and childcare providers shutting their doors, this past year has been exceptionally tough. Working parents know how hard it can be to care for a child and maintain a career. From costs to time management, sometimes things can be a little hectic. Our support in this significant task can make a parent’s life easier and kids futures brighter. Our community is blessed to have many different forms of support for parents. There are several opportunities available now if you are a parent looking for help.
Starting today, July 15, the IRS will be sending out monthly payments of the Child Tax Credit. This is a program that was expanded under the American Rescue Plan. For those with children, the American Rescue Plan increased the Child Tax Credit from $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child for children over the age of six. For children under the age of six it was raised from $2,000 to $3,600. Additionally the age limit to qualify rose from 16 to 17. All working families will get the full credit if they make up to $150,000 as a couple or $112,500 for a family with a single parent. Those who make more still are able to receive this tax credit.
For those who filed taxes in 2019 or 2020, or signed up to obtain a stimulus payment, you will receive these monthly payments automatically. If you did not file taxes during this time, you will need to sign up. In particular, if you are a low-income family who does not make enough money to be required to file taxes you should take advantage of this program. You will not lose your benefits if you do not sign up. These payments do not count as income for any family. Signing up will not affect your eligibility for other federal benefits like SNAP and WIC. To receive these payments visit childtaxcredit.gov and follow the instructions for non-filer sign up.
If you are looking for programs for your children this summer there are a number available. The YMCA of Long Island is offering their Early Childhood and Preschool Programs. Parents rely on dependable childcare, and the YMCA is able to offer a variety of days, and hours to meet the needs of parents who are working or wish to socialize their children in a safe environment. To learn more visit: ymcali.org/childcare2021. Patchogue-Medford Youth & Community Services is also offering summer programs to keep children active, and supervised. Just visit their website to learn more and sign up: pmycs.org/recreational-activities. The Town of Brookhaven has their summer fun camp for childaren ages 6-11. Camp locations are offered at Holtsville, Centereach and Mastic. To learn more visit: brookhavenny.gov/808/Summer-Fun-Camp. Finally, check out what the Village of Patchogue’s Parks Department is offering by taking a look at their summer brochure: patchoguevillage.org/docs/Parks/summer-brochure.pdf. There are many different activities for children to participate in this season.
Parents and caregivers are exhausted after a year and a half of turmoil. Routines were changed, lives upended, and hardship grew. There is relief on the way for those with children as checks from the expanded Child Tax Credit are sent out today. If you are struggling with childcare, there are options out there, and my office is ready to assist you in any way we can. Just know we are here to help and support you. Help is on its way.