Whitehouse: American Rescue Plan Extends Lifeline to Working Parents in RI
$93 million investment in RI child care centers will be paired with major expansion of tax credit to make daycare more affordable; Lack of child care options has disproportionately burdened working mothers during pandemic
Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Taxation and IRS Oversight, today lauded provisions in the American Rescue Plan that will send $93 million to Rhode Island child care centers, which will be paired with an expansion of the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit to make daycare more affordable. The pandemic has closed daycares and prevented parents from leaning on older family members who may be more susceptible to the virus. Working mothers have been disproportionately affected by the lack of child care options. Nearly three million women left the labor force over the past year.
“Parents of young children have had to navigate the impossible situation of balancing full-time jobs with reduced options for child care during the pandemic,” said Whitehouse. “The burden has disproportionately fallen on women, many of whom have had no choice but to step back from their careers. Our bill is a lifeline for working parents. We’re putting real investments into safely reopening child care centers and helping families afford to send their kids to high-quality daycare.”
The American Rescue Plan, which was signed into law on Thursday, provides $15 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant program, $24 billion for a child care stabilization grant program, and $1 billion for Head Start nationally. The child care stabilization grants will help child care providers with expenses like personnel costs, rent and mortgage payments, personal protective equipment, and mental health services. Rhode Island is estimated to receive $93 million for child care programs, including $36 million for Child Care and Development Block Grants and $57 million for child care stabilization grants. Rhode Island Head Start programs will receive around $3 million.
“COVID-19 has been incredibly challenging for all, but particularly for families who rely on child care and for the child care industry – which has gone above and beyond to adapt their facilities according to public health guidance,” said Womazetta Jones, Secretary of the Rhode Island Executive Office of Health & Human Services (EOHHS). “We are so thankful to our Rhode Island Congressional delegation, including Senator Whitehouse, for their advocacy in passing the American Rescue Plan. The Rhode Island Department of Human Services, which is under EOHHS’s purview, has made it their mission to ensure that all children and families have access to affordable, high-quality child care – as access is a crucial part of racial, gender and economic justice. The American Rescue Plan’s expansion of the stabilization fund for child care providers, additional resources for Child Care and Development Block Grants, funding for Head Start programs and other investments will further strengthen the child care system in Rhode Island and throughout the country.”
In addition, the American Rescue Plan provides a significant boost to help parents afford child care. The bill makes the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit a cash payment for half of care costs up to $4,000 for one child and $8,000 for two or more children in tax year 2021. The full Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit is available for households making up to $125,000 that have children under 13.
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