At Rochester Child Care Center, Shaheen discusses legislation to make child care more affordable
This morning, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) met with early child care providers at the Rochester Child Care Center in Rochester to discuss her plans to boost New Hampshire's economy and help families who are struggling with child care costs by updating the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC). The existing CDCTC has not kept pace with rising child care costs, which can exceed more than $11,000 annually for a single child in New Hampshire. Shaheen's legislation, the Helping Working Families Afford Child Care Act, would increase the amount of eligible child care expenses used to calculate the CDCTC and expand access to the tax cut to many New Hampshire families.
"Making child care affordable isn't just about helping New Hampshire families make ends meet, but it's about strengthening our economy too," Shaheen said. "Any parent can tell you that knowing their children are safe while they are at work is essential to being a productive employee. My plan to update the child care tax credit is something working families and our economy really need and I hope we can act on it soon."
Shaheen has been a leader in efforts to reduce costs of child care for working families ever since her tenure as New Hampshire's Governor when she established the Governor's Business Commission on Child Care and Early Education. The commission partnered with business leaders across New Hampshire to address the state's child care and early education needs.
With Shaheen's legislation, families would be eligible for a tax credit equal to 20 percent of child care expenses up to $8,000 for one child and $16,000 for two or more children, an increase from the current eligible costs of $3,000 and $6,000, respectively. The legislation would also index the new expense limits for inflation -- which have not been increased since 2001 -- to ensure the reformed credit does not lose value over time. For families, the Helping Working Families Afford Child Care Act would create eligibility for maximum credits of $1,600 of $3,200 in 2015. Additionally, the bill would fix a problem under current law by making the credit fully refundable, enabling more working parents to better afford the child care they need and help boost workplace participation to support their families.