Background: Almost 15 percent of Iowa children live in poverty, and many more live in households struggling to make ends meet. Particularly when children are very young, their needs are greatest and their families are at the lowest levels of their earnings. The growing inequality of income and wealth in America is developing into disparity of opportunity for our kids, where higher income households bring more opportunities for greater success. Persistent poverty is one of the strongest predictors of future health, education and social well‐being. Strong work support programs and policies focused on family economic security lower rates of children living in poverty and enable families to meet both their caregiving and bread winning roles. This also includes tax policies that recognize the costs for families of raising children. Iowa has a refundable EITC program that benefits very low-income families with children, yet our lower standard deductions and small child tax credit mean many Iowa families owing no federal income tax will owe state income taxes on their earnings needed to simply get by.
What actions will you take to reduce multigenerational poverty and ensure that all children have access to equal opportunities to achieve success?