The stimulus package raises the size of the credit, makes it fully refundable so more households can qualify and calls for it to be sent out in periodic payments rather than rolled into regular tax-time refunds -- a dramatic shift designed to help families pay their bills.
Already, some Democrats are pushing to make the more generous credit permanent, pointing to how much it would help poor children.
That would prove costly, however. The one-year enhancement is projected to cost $110 billion, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Making that permanent is estimated to cost north of $1 trillion over a decade.
Here's how the Democratic-backed relief package changes the child tax credit this year: How much will you get?