Thanks to the public investments in the American Rescue Plan, the first payments under the expanded Child Tax Credit are being dispersed today. The landmark investment has the potential to reduce child poverty by nearly 50% and dramatically improve the quality of life and future prospects of millions of children.

Here’s what they’re saying:

NPR: The Expanded Child Tax Credit Is Here. Here’s What You Need To Know
Columbia University’s Center on Poverty and Social Policy estimated that the expanded child tax credit and other measures in the American Rescue Plan could lift 5 million children out of poverty, cutting child poverty in half in the U.S.

The Treasury Department estimates that 26 million children in low income families who would have received less than the full credit under the previous rules will now get the full, expanded credit.

Los Angeles Times: Column: The new child tax credit will remake American family life for the better
Starting Thursday, the money will begin to flow in one of the most important government initiatives ever aimed at transforming the economics of family life in America.
“It’s a massive expansion of a credit that’s been around for a long time but only helped some families,” says Natalie Foster, co-chair of the Economic Security Project, which presses for programs to place more economic power in the hands of ordinary Americans. “This will help virtually all families.”

Children in families that participated in programs offering unconditional cash transfers have shown improved educational attainment and emotional and behavioral health.

Associated Press: Money in the bank: Child tax credit dollars head to parents
The child tax credit had always been an empty gesture to millions of parents like Tamika Daniel. That changed Thursday when the first payment of $1,000 hit Daniel’s bank account — and dollars started flowing to the pockets of more than 35 million families around the country. Daniel, a 35-year-old mother of four, didn’t even know the tax credit existed until President Joe Biden expanded it for one year as part of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package that passed in March.

But the extra $1,000 a month for the next year could be a life-changer for Daniel, who now works as a community organizer for a Richmond nonprofit. It will help provide a security deposit on a new apartment.

Washington Post: The new child tax credit could lift more than 5 million kids out of poverty. Can it help them learn, too?
Students growing up in poverty are already lagging behind their classmates by the time they set foot in kindergarten — and the disparities only worsen over time.

But the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, passed in March, will test a new proposition: What does it mean for children when their families receive enough cash benefits to lift them out of poverty?

For some families, the money could be transformative. The colossal and historic investment is expected to cut child poverty in half, according to an analysis from Columbia University’s Center on Poverty and Social Policy.

Tucson Weekly: More than 90% of Tucson families eligible for new child tax credit, study says
An estimated 91% of Tucson’s families with children 17 and younger are eligible for the latest federal child tax credit, a study says. The monthly payments should show up in people’s bank accounts starting Thursday, July 15.

Tucson is ranked as one of the top 10 cities nationwide when it comes to the proportion of families with children that will receive benefits from the latest federal coronavirus relief package, the LendingTree study says. The study focused on the 100 largest cities nationwide.

This latest effort, known as the American Rescue Plan, will provide up to $3,600 annually per child to qualifying families with kids younger than 6.

CNBC: Child tax credit payments could act as stimulus for retailers as soon as this month
Grocery stores, big-box retailers and even auto mechanics could pick up sales in the coming months, thanks to a new source of cash: monthly payments that go directly into parents’ and caretakers’ bank accounts.

Francine Lipman, a law professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, who specializes in tax policy and anti-poverty initiatives, said the payments will go toward two different kinds of consumers. Families who live at or below the poverty line will likely spend the money on necessities, like buying food, covering the rent or paying for medication.

“This $300 or $250 — and of course it’s multiplied by however many kids in the household — that can abate a slippery slope into poverty,” she said.