Statement on the Administration’s Proposed Changes to the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit

Apr 26, 2017

The following statement regarding the Administration’s proposed changes to the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit may be attributed to Matthew E. Melmed, executive director of ZERO TO THREE:

“ZERO TO THREE is pleased that the Administration is proposing to improve the existing Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, and we are concerned that this proposal doesn’t go far enough to meet the needs of families who struggle most with affording quality child care.

For babies and toddlers of working parents, quality child care helps them get the best start in life. Babies’ brains make more than one million neural connections every second in the first few years. Investing in high-quality and nurturing care for those at risk of falling behind will yield the greatest returns – and savings – down the road.

Unfortunately, for many low-income families the proposed changes to the tax credit will not help them meet their monthly child care costs – which can exceed the annual college tuition costs in 33 states and Washington, D.C. It also does nothing to support the quality of care and its essential ingredient, the child care workforce, which is underpaid and undervalued.

Building on the tax credit is a good start, and increases in existing funding streams for direct child care assistance and higher pay for providers are essential to ensure all families benefit from these efforts, not just those higher up the income ladder.”

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