Cardin, Van Hollen, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Make Child Care More Affordable

News Release, Office of United States Senator Ben Cardin(D-Md.)

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (Both D-Md.) joined Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and 19 Democratic colleagues in introducing the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit Enhancement Act to make child care accessible and more affordable for working families. This legislation builds on the popular Child Care Tax Credit by increasing the full tax credit amount and making the full credit available to more working families.

“Families in Maryland and across the nation are faced with prohibitively high child care costs, forcing many parents to drop out of the workforce or scale back their hours,” said Senator Cardin. “This expansion of the popular Child Care Tax Credit would lessen financial hardship for working families, support parents in the workforce, and ensure that children from all socioeconomic backgrounds enjoy to safe, quality learning environments.”

“All children deserve the chance to learn and succeed, regardless of where they are born or their family’s income. That is why it so important that we ensure all families have access to high quality, affordable early learning and childcare,” said Senator Casey. “This measure works to help achieve that goal by making common sense improvements to the existing Child Care Tax Credit, including increasing the full tax credit amount, and by making the full credit available to more working families. I am proud to be joined by 20 of my Democratic colleagues in this fight.”

Specifically, The Child Care and Dependent Credit Enhancement Act would:

  • Make the full Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit available to most working families: This bill would make the full credit available to families with income under $120,000. The current phase-down of the credit begins at $15,000 of income.
  • Put more money into a family’s pocket: The bill increases the maximum credit from $1,050 to $3,000 per child (age 0-13), up to $6,000. 
  • Ensure lower income families see a benefit: The bill would make the credit fully refundable to make sure those with the greatest need see a benefit. 
  • Retain the value over time: The bill would index benefits to inflation to ensure they keep up with ever-growing costs.

The legislation is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.).

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