Expand Access to Affordable Child Care

Expand Access to Affordable Child CareA lack of access to quality, affordable child care is a major barrier to work-life balance and financial stability for women and families. Families living in poverty and who require care for a child under five spend, on average, 36% of their income on child care.1 Grandparents and other relatives are frequently relied upon to provide child care when other options are unaffordable or unavailable. Over a quarter of children under five with working mothers receive their primary care from grandparents or other relatives.2

Following the President’s proposal to increase support for early childhood care, Hadassah urges Congress to act on legislation to help ease the financial burden on families who seek to access to high quality care for their children.

Federal child care policy has two principal components: tax provisions and block grant funding to states.3

Last year, the Child Care and Development Block Grant (S. 1086) was reauthorized for the first time in 18 years, including several measures to help improve child care through training, inspections, and other safety measures. Click here to read Hadassah's statement about the CCDBG reauthorization.

President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2016 Budget, proposes a historic investment in child care to ensure that quality, affordable care is available to all eligible low- and moderate-income working families with young children, as opposed to the small share of children who receive this help today. This proposal would provide an additional $82 billion of funding—expanding access to high-quality care for more than 1.1 million additional children under age four by 2025 and helping states build a supply of quality care that families can access.

The Dependent and Child Care Tax Credit is one of two major federal tax provisions for child care. Currently, low income families are eligible for a credit up to $1,050 for one child under age five, and up to $2,100 for families with two or more children under five. The President’s Budget proposal triples the maximum Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC) to $3,000 and $6,000 for families with children under five and makes the full CDCTC available to families with incomes of up to $120,000. The Budget proposal also allows for a maximum credit of $1,050 for one child and $2,100 for two or more children ages five through 12.

Hadassah is also supportive of legislative proposals introduced last Congress to increase the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit as high as $16,000—tying increases to inflation in order to maintain value and address the rapidly rising cost of care. Additionally, the CDCTC tax credit could be fully refundable, allowing low-income families with no tax liability to realize the full benefit of the credit – a critical step toward improved child care coverage and poverty alleviation. Click here to learn more from Hadassah's 2014 Affordable Child Care Fact Sheet.

Urge your elected officials to support legislation and other public and private sector policies that would expand access to affordable child care.


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