Davis Joins Majority in Supporting Child Care Relief Legislation
Legislation provides for grant funding for child care providers and expands dependent care flexible spending accounts and tax credits for both parents and providers
U.S. Representative Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) today joined a majority of lawmakers and voted in support of two pieces of child care relief legislation that provides for direct grant funding for child care providers and expands both dependent care flexible spending accounts and child care tax credits for both parents and providers.
“Many families I represent can only return to work if they have access to affordable child care,” said Davis. “The unfortunate reality is that state and local government mandates geared towards mitigating the spread of COVID-19 have decimated child care providers. That’s why we need to do everything we can to make sure child care providers can stay afloat and parents have the resources to afford child care, otherwise our economy will be permanently held back and families can’t return to work. That’s why I joined the House majority today in supporting this child care relief legislation. As negotiations over additional COVID-19 relief legislation continue, it’s imperative that significant relief for providers and parents who rely on child care be included in the package.”
“The bipartisan passage of the Child Care Is Essential Act sets the stage for crucial negotiations on a COVID-19 recovery package that will determine whether the child care industry can survive this economic crisis. We are grateful to Congressional leaders like Congressman Davis for prioritizing the dire needs of America’s child care providers, who say they cannot remain in business without significant financial relief,” said First Five Years Fund Executive Director Sarah Rittling. “Now, as negotiations begin on a final economic recovery package, we look to House and Senate leadership to build off today’s bipartisan effort, and prioritize significant emergency funding to prevent the child care industry from collapsing at a time when our economy needs it most.”
The Child Care is Essential Act, H.R. 7027, creates a $50 billion Child Care Stabilization Fund to provide grant funding to child care providers. The legislation also requires providers to continue employing and paying their employees at pre-COVID 19 levels.
The Child Care for Economic Recovery Act, H.R. 7327, provides improved tax benefits for families and working caregivers. The legislation enhances the child and dependent care tax credit (CDCTC), expands the dependent care flexible spending accounts (DCFSA), and creates a new tax credit to help employees access quality, affordable child care. The legislation also includes a new refundable payroll tax credit for child care providers and incentivizes employers to keep child care workers on payroll, by expanding the employee retention tax credit (ERTC).
Rep. Davis has been a leader on expanding access to affordable child care. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Davis has co-sponsored legislation to alleviate some of the financial burdens that come with rising costs of child and dependent care. Davis also introduced an amendment the Veteran's Access to Childcare Act that eliminates barriers to mental health services for veterans with children.
Earlier this month, Rep. Davis wrote a letter to Congressional leaders urging additional relief for child care providers. The letter cited a national survey of child care providers that showed up to half of the country’s child care capacity could permanently disappear because of closures and lost revenue due to COVID-19.
According to a survey of over 500 providers in Illinois, nearly 1/3 of providers would not be able to reopen if they closed for more than two weeks. A separate survey indicated that 60% of child care programs were closed and 26% were only open for children of essential workers. Nearly ¾ of the providers who are still open are operating at less than 25% capacity.