Durbin, Duckworth Introduce Bill To Make Child Care More Affordable

WASHINGTONIn order to help reduce the burden placed on working families from high child care costs, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), along with 19 Senate colleagues, introduced the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit Enhancement Act, legislation to make child care accessible and more affordable for working families. In Illinois, the average annual cost of child care for a toddler is $11,982 and $13,474 for infants.  This amount exceeds what many families pay annually in rent or for attending a four-year public university.  

“Affordable and reliable child care is a necessity for Illinois’ working families, which is why I’m proud to support this bill. We have to make it easier for parents to afford child care services because we know it will lead to better economic outcomes for families, and better lives for children,” Durbin said.

“No parent should have to choose between sending their kids to daycare during the day and putting food on the table at night,” Duckworth said. “So I’m proud to join Senator Durbin in helping introduce this legislation, which helps address the rising costs of raising children by strengthening current tax credits that help hardworking Americans access the child care they need to raise strong and healthy families.”

Specifically, The Child and Dependent Care Tax 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), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Patty Murray (D-WA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jack Reed (D-RI), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV).

Duckworth and Durbin have both prioritized helping Illinois families manage the increasing costs associated with raising a child. They recently co-sponsored legislation to cut taxes for families with children; establish a comprehensive paid family and medical leave program that will provide 12 weeks of paid leave for workers who need time to care for a newborn or adopted child, a seriously ill family member, or their own serious health condition; and ensure low- and middle-income families have access to affordable and high-quality child care.