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Shaheen Introduces Legislation to Improve & Expand Child Care Affordability For Working Families

The Right Start Child Care and Education Act Would Reform US Tax Code to Increase Access to Affordable Child Care

(Washington, DC)— U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) reintroduced legislation yesterday, the Right Start Child Care and Education Act, to make child care more affordable and accessible for Granite State families, and millions more throughout the United States, by reforming the nation’s federal tax code.

Specifically, Shaheen’s bill would increase outdated dollar limits on child care expenses for families, make the child care tax credit fully refundable, create a tax credit for educated child care professionals and boost support for businesses that provide child care benefits for employees.

“Affordable child care continues to be a significant obstacle for American families – that isn’t right. Congress can, and should, be doing more to reform our system to better support working parents,” said Shaheen. “This legislation will help families afford the care they need by making common-sense changes to our tax code. Improving access to affordable child care is critical for working families, and it also has broader implications for our economy overall – when parents are able to participate in our workforce that makes for a stronger, more secure economy. I’ll continue to prioritize efforts that put working families first and ensure they have the help they need and deserve.” 

Senator Shaheen introduced this legislation in the 116th Congress. The bill is cosponsored by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). Making child care more affordable for American families has been a priority for Senator Shaheen. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Shaheen has consistently advocated for federal funding to support investments in child care and early childhood education, and earlier this month she announced $3.8 million to support an early childhood care and education grant from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to the University System of New Hampshire. 

The Right Start Child Care and Education Act bill text is available here.