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House Passes Bill Easing Childcare Burdens

In a day of rising costs for childcare, Democratic state Reps. Tina Davis (D-Bucks) and Melissa Shusterman (D-Chester) shepherded a bill through the Pennsylvania House to help working parents.

House Bill 1259 passed through the chamber with bipartisan support, 141-62, and now heads to the state Senate for concurrence.

The lawmakers said H.B. 1259 would help families ease the burden of childcare costs through an expansion of the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit Program, providing a stepped, yearly increase to the tax credit eligible individuals can claim.

“With return-to-work policies in full swing, families are once again faced with steep childcare costs and difficult decisions,” Davis said. “This bill would provide a much-needed tax break to families throughout the commonwealth. Our children deserve exceptional childcare, and parents should be able to provide it without worrying about breaking the bank.”

Shusterman echoed Davis’ comments.

“Here in the Commonwealth, childcare for one child averages nearly $12,000 a year,” Shusterman said. “The hardworking parents of Pennsylvania do not deserve to be priced out of childcare and in turn, being denied the opportunity to work year-round.

“The proposed legislation from Representative Davis and myself will build off of the childcare tax credit that was passed as part of last year’s budget. By increasing this credit incrementally, we can ensure that credit keeps up with the rising costs over time.”

The duo noted in their co-sponsorship memoranda that as of September 2021, nearly 1.6 million mothers of children under 17 have not returned to their jobs, mainly because it is more cost-efficient to remain at home rather than pay for day care or summer camp. In Pennsylvania, child care for one child averages almost $12,000 annually. A survey conducted in 2021 showed that 85 percent of parents are spending 10 percent or more of their household income on child care.


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