The extra help is only for one year, so lower poverty rates could be short-lived. Biden has proposed keeping the credits at current levels—up to $3,600 for children below 6 years old—through 2025, while some Democrats in Congress want to make the benefit permanent. If that were to happen, it would represent a big shift in how the government views childcare, seeing it more as a reimbursable service necessary to keep the economy churning and less as free labor provided by family.

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