Tax Credits and Free Tax Preparation Services for Low-Income Families

Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) are among the largest Internal Revenue Service (IRS) public benefits for low-income households. You can ensure that families participating in the subsidized child care program are informed about these credits and know how to find free tax preparation services for which they might be eligible.   What Is the EITC? EITC is a refundable tax credit that lifts more than 6 million people out of poverty each year, half of whom are children. EITC helps low-to-moderate income working individuals and families keep more of the money that they earn. People can claim the EITC if they are U.S. citizens or resident aliens with a social security number valid for employment and if they meet the income limits for their filing status.   Maximum Qualifying Income by Filing Status and Number of Qualifying Children Claimed (2016 Tax Year)   Filing Status Qualifying Children Claimed Zero One Two Three or More Single, Head of Household, or Surviving Spouse $14,880 $39,296 $44,648 $47,955 Married, Filing Jointly $20,430 $44,846 $50,198 $53,505   The maximum amount of credit that can be returned for tax year 2016 is: o   $6,269 with three or more qualifying children o   $5,572 with two qualifying children o   $3,373 with one qualifying child o   $506 with no qualifying children.   What Are the Child Tax Credit and Additional Child Tax Credit? The CTC is a nonrefundable credit that can reduce a family’s tax by as much as $1,000 for each qualifying child. The CTC and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) should not be confused with the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. The ACTC is...
Helping Your Child Develop Executive Function

Helping Your Child Develop Executive Function

What is executive function and how can you help your child develop it? Executive function is a group of skills that helps regulate behaviors and manage emotions: they allow us to process information, focus attention and control impulses. Executive function skills help children learn new information, plan, and solve problems, which is why they can predict school success better than IQ scores. Executive function involves skills that children learn from their parents and caregivers through play and everyday activities. Research shows children who do well in childhood games like Simon Says or Freeze Tag do better in school because these games help them develop focus and self-control early on. In Case You Missed It Looking for a fun way to teach your child self-control? In Cookie Monster learns to exercise self-control and wait for his turn. This episode is part of  “Cookie Crumby Pictures” a Sesame Street segment designed to teach young children about self-regulation and executive function through Cookie Monster’s funny attempts to control his behavior. Tip of the Week Naming and expressing feelings helps children learn to manage their emotions, which is an important executive function skill. When your child is upset, talk together about why he/she feels this way and what he/she could do to feel better. You might say “I can see you’re feeling sad that we have to leave the playground. I wonder if there’s something fun we could do together when we get home.”...

Education Resources E-Newsletter

Education Resources E-Newsletter Vol. 12, No. 5 May 2016 In this Issue * Education Week Survey: Number of States Choosing Common Core Tests Dips to 21 *Encourage Middle School Parents to Step Up and Stay Involved *The Latest Education News from All Over the Internet *Q&A: Closing out fiscal-year budgets on time and on target Education Week Survey: Number of States Choosing Common Core Tests Dips to 21 Read full article here Encourage Middle School Parents to Step Up and Stay Involved As you know, parents can play a critical role in supporting their child’s success at school, and middle school is a particularly important stage. But it can be challenging to reach parents with important advice and information. That’s where our Parenting Corner — Parent Involvement Center (Middle School Edition) in English (EM91675) and Spanish (EM91989), comes in. This take-one information center comes with 50 copies of 6 engaging magazines — each highlighting an important middle school issue — a sturdy wire display rack, plus 3 copies of a motivational poster! The magazines are: Parenting Corner — Achieving Homework Success (Middle School Edition) (EM95560)T Parenting Corner — Help Stop Bullying! (Middle School Edition) (EM95548)T Parenting Corner — Raising A Drug-Free Child (Middle School Edition) (EM91304)T Parenting Corner — Ensuring Your Child’s School Attendance (Middle School Edition) (EM91087)T Parenting Corner — Encouraging Respect & Responsibility (Middle School Edition) (EM91187)T Parenting Corner — Staying Active In Your Child’s Education (Middle School Edition) (EM95517)T We’re so certain that you’ll appreciate the quality and effectiveness of the publications featured in this information center, we’re offering you an opportunity to have samples mailed right...

Hartford Public Library Nonprofit Program Workshop Series

Hartford Public Library Nonprofit Program Workshop Series Wednesday, May 13, 10:00 am to noon HAS THE ANNUAL APPEAL OUTLIVED ITS USEFULNESS? Presenter: Rebecca M. Bryan, CFRE, R. Bryan Associates, LLC For decades the Annual Appeal has been the bread and butter for most nonprofits. Letters sent, donations returned, budget goals met, programs implemented. With all of the changes in the world of fundraising – technology, donor behavior, economic realities etc. – what is the role of the Annual Appeal today? Has it outlived its usefulness? This workshop will focus on how to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of your Annual Appeal. Wednesday, May 27, 10:00 am to noon FINDERS, KEEPERS: HOW TO FIND AND KEEP NEW DONORS Presenter: Donna Haghighat, Hartford Public Library Nonprofits of all sizes work hard to find new donors and find it even harder to keep those new donors.  For small to medium-sized nonprofits, losing donors and not attracting new ones is hampering growth or worse, creating a sustainability crisis.  Please indicate the type of nonprofit you represent and any particular challenges you would like addressed when you register.   Thursday, June 18, 9:00 am to noon BUILDING AND SUSTAINING YOUR NONPROFIT Presenter: Martey Rhine, Management Solutions & Resources This workshop will cover the basics of building a board, budgeting, operational planning, marketing, and fundraising – all the building blocks your nonprofit organization needs.  It will also provide you with the tools, templates, and references for taking the action steps to effectively structure your nonprofit organization and enhance your ability to achieve the mission.   These workshops are offered in partnership with the Hartford Foundation...
Developing Your Child’s Sense of Humor

Developing Your Child’s Sense of Humor

Did you know that babies make jokes before they can even talk? They are little comedians! Research shows that even babies can try to act goofy and make you laugh. Humor starts early and has many benefits for children’s development. Laughing together is a great way to bond with your child, and a sense of humor can boost children’s self-esteem and help them handle challenges. Here are some helpful resources to start giggling together: A sense of humor is a learned quality that you can help your child develop! Depending on their age, children appreciate different types of humor. Find out what’s funny to your little one so you can laugh together and help her learn to appreciate and share humor. To encourage your children to develop a sense of humor, create a humor-rich environment for them. Reading funny books is a great start! Check out this great list of books to look for at your local library. Tip of the Week: Children find humor in the unexpected. That’s why your little one laughs when you put socks on your hands and make funny faces! Children also love rhyming sounds, especially funny rhymes like banana, zanana, fanana. You can even make up silly rhymes using your child’s...
10 Tips for Raising a Compassionate Infant-Toddler

10 Tips for Raising a Compassionate Infant-Toddler

  Recent research shows that infants and toddlers are far more empathetic than we once thought.  While they have short fuses, and don’t cope well with sharing, they are capable of being compassionate.  With this in mind, here are ten tips I use in the classroom to help infants and toddlers become pro-social that families can also try at home. 1.  Be respectful, patient, and loving to your infants and toddlers and everyone else. Infants imitate what they see.  Model saying “please” and “thank you”, touching gently, using your words, using a calm voice, cleaning up your messes, helping others, and sharing your things: “Thank you for the Cheerio, would you like some of my raisins?” 2.  Media is powerful!  Read books about feelings with positive social interactions and discuss them.  If your child watches television, watch too, and talk about the situations and emotions that happen in the shows, especially if the actions are antisocial. “Caillou said that Philip could not use his ball – how did that make Philip feel?  Do you think taking turns might make Philip feel better?”  3.  When things are upsetting your toddler, you can engage your inner child.  Doll or puppet play can help your child explore feelings and perspectives.   Puppet, “I don’t want to take a bath!”  You to puppet, “You sound mad – you don’t like baths!  I wonder what things could make bath-time fun?” 4.  When people are upset, model compassion – talk about the problem and offer help. “That boy fell off the climber, let’s go see if he’s ok!  His daddy picked him up and the...