Strategies

Policies and programs that work

17 Strategies

Child care subsidies

Provide financial assistance to working parents, or parents attending school, to pay for center-based or certified in-home child care
Scientifically Supported
  • Income

Child development accounts

Establish dedicated child development accounts (CDAs) to build assets over time with contributions from family, friends, and sometimes, supporting organizations; also called children’s savings accounts (CSAs)
Expert Opinion
  • Income
  • Education

Child tax credit expansion

Expand federal or state child tax credits by increasing credit amounts, making credits refundable, decreasing or eliminating the earnings threshold, or creating a fully refundable supplement
Expert Opinion
  • Income

Debt advice for tenants with unpaid rent

Offer debt advice from trained providers to tenants with unpaid, overdue rent to help repay debt and increase financial literacy
Some Evidence
  • Income
  • Housing and Transit

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

Expand refundable earned income tax credits for low to moderate income working individuals and families
Scientifically Supported
  • Income

Financial education for adults

Provide one-on-one or group adult education programs that cover topics such as basic budgeting, bank use, credit management, bankruptcy, credit building and counseling, homeownership, retirement, divorce, etc.
Insufficient Evidence
  • Income

Full child support pass-through and disregard

Adopt policies that allow custodial parents who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) to collect all child support paid by the non-custodial parent; no portion is retained by the state
Scientifically Supported
  • Income

Individual Development Accounts (IDAs)

Support subsidized asset accumulation programs in which deposits by low and moderate income participants are matched by program sponsors; withdrawals must be used for qualified expenses to retain matching funds
Some Evidence
  • Income

Living wage laws

Establish locally mandated wages that are higher than state or federal minimum wage levels
Some Evidence
  • Income

Matched dollar incentives for saving tax refunds

Support programs that provide matched dollar incentives for low or moderate income individuals to place some or all of their tax refund in a savings account
Some Evidence
  • Income

Microfinance & microenterprise

Support programs that provide small loans, usually to disadvantaged individuals, to start or expand a small business, often with business training and other assistance
Insufficient Evidence
  • Income

Minimum wage increases

Increase the lowest hourly, daily, or monthly compensation that employers may legally pay to workers
Mixed Evidence
  • Income

New Hope Project

Provided work supports for low income individuals and families (e.g., job search assistance, transitional jobs, subsidized child care, health insurance, etc.); participants worked at least 30 hours/week
Some Evidence
  • Income

Payday loan regulations

Regulate small, short-term loans that must be repaid by a borrower’s next pay day via bans, caps on maximum interest rates and loan amounts, minimum loan terms, truth in lending statements, etc.
Insufficient Evidence
  • Income

Refundable child and dependent care tax credit

Offer a refundable tax credit to working families with qualifying children or other dependents that receive care outside the home (e.g., a spouse with disabilities)
Expert Opinion
  • Income

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits

Explore ways to increase Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program benefit amounts for aged, blind, or disabled individuals, including children, with little or no income
Expert Opinion
  • Income

Unemployment insurance (UI)

Extend or raise the compensation provided to eligible, unemployed workers looking for jobs
Some Evidence
  • Income