State Leaders Discuss Expanded Child Care Credit

Minnesota is the third most expensive state in the nation for child care. That’s why Governor Dayton is proposing to expand Minnesota’s Child and Dependent Care Credit.

Under current law, 38,000 families in Minnesota get child care tax relief. But this new proposal would more than triple that number.

Norma Jean Clement and her partner both work full-time jobs.
“We need the two family income so she would have to go to daycare,” she says.

They have a four-month old baby and are trying to figure out how to manage work and childcare.

“For her it’s almost $200 a week so it’s like and that’s just one kid,” Clement continues.

The average cost for child care in Minnesota is more than $900 a month. This often times forces parents to choose between either working or taking care of their child.

“We know that childcare can be expensive for Minnesota’s families but it’s also a really important investment in Minnesota’s earliest learners. And so this proposal allows more families to be able to deduct some of the expenses that they have with respect to their child care cost from their taxes each year,” says Minn. Dept. Of Revenue Commissioner Cynthia Bauerly.

Dayton’s proposed $100 million budget expansion would increase the child tax credit by $429 per family, on average.

“Addressing this issue not just for the cost for working families but also getting students ready to go in terms of achievement and success when they hit that grade school level is very important,” says Minn. State Representative Ben Lien.

And working parents like Clement agree. A program that makes the necessary cost of childcare lower makes life a little bit easier.

Currently families with household income of more than $39,000 do not receive a tax credit. This new plan would raise that limit to $112,000. Republicans who control the House say they are open to an expanded credit.