The federal child tax credit was recently expanded by the American Rescue Plan Act.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has launched a campaign to ensure that all eligible families receive the federal child tax credit, which was recently expanded by the American Rescue Plan Act.

Many families who qualify for the CTC have not yet signed up, so local leaders are being asked to help ensure that families access these resources.

Local officials were invited to one-hour webinars on Oct. 13 and 21 discussing the benefits of the child tax credit to families and cities and towns, how to sign parents up, and resources for use by local officials.

The CTC is a significant opportunity to help low-income families in our communities, with the potential to lift families out of poverty and help parents start down a sustainable work path.

Families get payments of up to $300 per child per month via direct deposit or check. Half of the CTC will come during this year, with the second half coming when families file their taxes next year.

Any family with kids can benefit, even if they make little or no income, as long as the child has a social security number. The child must be under 18 on Dec. 31, 2021, and must live with the family most of the time.

Families that have already filed a 2019 or 2020 tax return will receive the CTC automatically.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the CTC expansion is expected to boost consumer spending by $27 billion, generate $1.9 billion in revenues from state and local sales taxes, and support more than 500,000 full-time jobs at the median wage.

Additional resources a one-stop-shop for information about the CTC, including information about how parents who have not yet signed up can sign up for payments. (English and Spanish): Where people sign up for the CTC and find additional navigator resources such as the demonstration video and help guide that responds to commonly asked questions.

• Tax Policy Center’s interactive, data visualization map: Using non-filer data, map shows the number of children at risk of missing the CTC by zip code, to help prioritize outreach.