Today, Congressman Steve Israel (D-Huntington) visited Kids by the Bunch in Glen Cove to announce legislation that would put more money in the pockets of middle-class families paying for child care. Current law allows for as much as a 35 percent tax credit for child care costs up to $3,000 (or $6,000 for two or more children) for children under age 13 whose parents work or go to school. However, current law limits benefits to families with incomes greater than $43,000 to a 20 percent credit. Rep. Israel's legislation, the Middle Class Dependent Care Fairness Act, will remove that unfair disparity so all families can access the 35 percent tax credit, nearly doubling the credit for many families on Long Island.
Rep. Israel said, "Families on Long Island already face some of the highest costs-of-living in the country, and child care costs are a big contributor to this equation. Middle-class families in our communities should be able to claim the full tax credit for their child care expenses, and parents should not feel like they have choose between entering or leaving the workforce to pay for child care. It's not good for the economy to force mothers or fathers to leave the workforce because they can't afford child care. This legislation will allow families to keep a little more of their hard-earned salaries while ensuring their kids have access to top-notch care."
According to the National Association of Child Care Resources & Referral Agencies, child care costs in New York State are the highest in the nation. Child care for four-year-old children average $11,585. That equals almost three times the $3,911 per child in Mississippi. And, costs are even higher for center-based infant care, which ranges from an average of $4,591 in Mississippi to $14,009 in New York.
The Middle Class Dependent Care Fairness Act would help alleviate this cost by allowing families making more than $43,000 to claim the full 35 percent tax credit for child care costs of up to $3,000 (or $6,000 for two or more children). The bill will remove the phase down, effectively doubling the Dependent Care Credit for most middle class families.