DES MOINES, Iowa – After some improvements in the 1990s, the poverty rate for kids in Iowa has been on the rise over the last decade or so, and a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation says a two-generation approach is the best strategy for strengthening those families.
Michael Crawford, director of Iowa Kids Count, said the method includes a focus on high-quality early education for children, while also providing parents with access to job training, career paths and other tools. “The two-generation approach really aims to create opportunities for families by equipping the parents and the kids with the tools they need to thrive,” he said. “That’s the whole idea is, you really can’t look at just the children, you’ve got to look at the parents and the kids both.”
The report on the two-generation approach outlines how the public, nonprofit and private sectors could better coordinate their efforts to reduce poverty among the 10 million low-income families in the United States with young children.
Some specific actions that would help increase the economic opportunity for these families, said Crawford, include an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit, along with “increasing and making refundable the Child Tax Credit for low-income families. That’s a way to put some money in the pockets of low-income families, so they can afford day care and helps them with their monthly budgetary needs.”
In Iowa, he said, more than 250,000 children are living in low-income families. The report, “Creating Opportunity for Families: A Two-Generation Approach,” is online at AECF.org.
(Iowa News Service)