February 05, 2009

Senator Gillibrand Introduces Amendment to Reduce Child Care Costs

Legislation Continues Senator’s Efforts to Get Affordable Care for Working Families

Washington, D.C. - Today, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) introduced an amendment to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act which would double the Child Care Tax Credit, making it easier for families to afford child care.  The average annual cost of full-time child care has risen to close to 20% of a family's income in New York.

"As a working mom myself, I know the challenges that families with working parents endure," said Gillibrand.  "Paying for child care is one of the biggest financial burdens on today's families and this tax credit will support the many New York families where both parents work."

The Boxer-Gillibrand amendment would double the existing Dependent and Child Care Tax Credit from $3,000 to $6,000 and increase the percentage of eligible expenses to 35-50% of the cost of care.  Additionally, the amendment would increase incentives for companies that offer work-site child care services, helping families get access to child care.

In 2007, then-Congresswoman Gillibrand introduced the Family Care Act into the House of Representatives.  This bill doubled the child care tax credit for middle class families and made it easier for families to apply for the deduction.

In addition to expanding the Child Care Tax Credit, the new amendment would also create a new tax credit to support students who choose to pursue a degree in early childhood education or a related degree.  In the past twenty years, the percentage of child care workers with a four-year degree has declined by almost a third.