Rep. Melissa Shusterman
State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester, is introducing legislation with Rep. Tina Davis, D-Bucks, to help parents and caregivers in the commonwealth.
With the rising costs of childcare, caregivers, who are typically mothers, are delaying their return to the work force. As of September 2021, nearly 1.6 million mothers of children under 17 have not returned to their jobs. The reason why, is that it is more cost-efficient to remain at home instead of paying for day care or summer camp.
In Pennsylvania, childcare 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 childcare.
“A parent should never have to choose between taking care of their child and going to work,” Shusterman said. “This legislation will help more Pennsylvanians afford childcare and in turn, allow them the freedom to work and better provide for their families.”
The proposed legislation will build off of the childcare tax credit that was passed as part of Pennsylvania’s 2022 budget. Davis and Shusterman are proposing a tax credit for families whose daycare costs exceed 10 percent of their taxable income, capped at 20 percent of daycare costs or $5,000, whichever is lower. Specifically, the legislation would increase the credit that can be claimed off PA taxes each year from the current 30 percent of the federal filing credit to 50 percent.
By providing this credit, they hope to ease the burden of childcare costs while simultaneously encouraging women to return to the work force and aid in decreasing the labor shortage.
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