Why the Proposed “Right Start Child Care and Education Act of 2009” is One to Watch

Federal legislation introduced earlier this year in both houses encourages greater use of quality child care. The Senate version (S.210) sponsored by Senator Boxer (D-CA) and House of Representatives version (H.R.460) sponsored by Representative Ruppersberger (D-MD), include several tax credits for employers, providers, and parents. The bill (which can be viewed in its entirety here) has the following pieces:

a) A $2,000 tax credit for child care professionals who have a “child care-related” degree and work at least 1,200 hours a year in a licensed child care facility. This credit can be claimed for 3 years. This portion of the bill hopes to retain and attract child care providers with bachelor’s degrees in the field.
b) Higher tax credits for employers who provide child care to their employees.
c) A boost in tax credits available to parents for child care expenses. This could encourage more parents to choose higher quality (and often more expensive) care.

Both bills have been referred to committees in the Senate and House of Representatives.

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