At Londonderry child care center, Shaheen details plan to make child care more affordable, presented with Early Learning Champion Award

July 11, 2014

(Londonderry, NH) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) this morning joined early child care providers at Applewood Learning Center in Londonderry to discuss the economic challenges posed to New Hampshire families by the increasing cost of child care and her plan to make child care more affordable by updating the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC). Shaheen, who was also presented the Early Learning New Hampshire’s 2014 Early Learning Champion Award today, discussed the Helping Working Families Afford Child Care Act she introduced this week that would increase the amount of eligible child care expenses used to calculate the CDCTC and expand the credit to a countless number of families.

“For many families in New Hampshire, child care is their most significant expense,” Shaheen said. “In fact, the cost of child care has grown significantly, and child care costs are taking up an increasingly larger portion of a family’s budget. My bill would update and improve the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit so parents can provide for their families and contribute to our economy.”

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, low- and middle-income 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 low-income working parents to better afford the child care they need and help boost workplace participation to support their families.