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Kirsten Gillibrand's picture

More parents than ever are balancing work and raising children. When I was growing up, just over one-third of mothers with young children worked outside the home. Today, it’s nearly two-thirds.

The cost of quality child care is steadily increasing across New York. families across New York are paying approximately $10,400 per year for an infant, $9,100 per year for a toddler and $8,300 per year for a school aged child.

As a working mother of two young sons, I understand the tough decisions these families face. That’s why I created a plan to make quality child care more affordable.

First, I want to help parents afford quality child care. I’m supporting legislation that will more than double the Dependent and Child Care Tax Credit to $6,000 – and make it fully refundable so low-income families can realize the full benefit of this credit. I am also authoring new legislation that will give parents enrolled part-time in school the same tax benefits as full-time students.

Second, I’m helping more New York businesses provide parents with the resources they need to find child care. I am pushing legislation that will increase the tax credit for businesses that create on-site child care services for their employees. Parents who can bring their kids to on-site care are more productive and happier with their work-family life. I am also supporting legislation that would allow employers to deduct 20 percent of the costs of child care resources and referral services. Additionally, I’m introducing new legislation to provide businesses with a $500 tax credit for providing home telecommunications so parents can work from home.

Third, I’m encouraging more trained professionals to enter the child care workforce. The percentage of child care professionals with a college degree has been on a steady decline for decades to less than 30 percent. My plan creates a new tax credit of $2,000 a year for up to three years for any college graduate who specializes in child care and works at least 1,200 hours a year in a child care facility.

Working parents are up against a lot in this economy. These are commonsense steps we can take to reduce the burden. Families need access to quality, affordable child care now more than ever to succeed and put their kids on a path to a bright future.

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