A child allowance is a cash-based family support policy aimed at providing families with children a consistent, recurring income supplement to prevent or mitigate poverty and defray the costs of raising a child.
The United States is an outlier among most peer countries in that it does not have a permanent, universal child allowance or child benefit policy in place to support families with children. The 2021 American Rescue Plan Act does include a temporary expansion to the child tax credit that makes the credit more closely resemble a monthly child allowance, and the expansion has the potential to become permanent.
But what is known about child allowances since such a policy has never been passed or implemented in the US? Our expert policy team behind the Prenatal-to-3 Policy Clearinghouse conducted a comprehensive review of the evidence to date on child allowance: