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New Research: Early Childhood Poverty Has Long, Harmful Reach

New findings by two of the most-respected researchers in the country demonstrate that the kinds of budget cuts currently being considered at the federal and state levels–like cutting the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income working families–would have harmful long-term consequences for young children in low-income families.

The researchers, Greg J. Duncan and Katherine Magnuson, found that an income boost of $3,000 for families with young children earning less than $25,000 per year improved educational achievement and substantially increased the future earnings of the family’s children when they reached adulthood.  The reverse was true for low-income families with young children whose income declined.

Thus, instead of cutting programs that support the incomes of low-income families with young children, Duncan and Magnuson advocate increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit.  Investing in families with young children now will reap substantial long-term benefits both for children and for the economy and broader society.

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