‘Cost should never be a barrier’: In York, Wolf touts Pa.’s new child care tax credit program

Produced By: - July 26, 2022 1:03 pm

YORK, Pa. — When Amy Fedor thinks about the hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania parents struggling with the cost of child care, she sees herself.

A mother of four girls, Fedor, of York, said she knows figuring out how to pay for quality child care has “broken” many families. And that’s why she’s hopeful that a new child care tax credit included in the new state budget will provide a badly needed lifeline to so many parents having tough conversations around the kitchen table.

Quality child care gives kids “the gift of a head start that they need, that they would otherwise not have if their parents could not afford it,” she said.

On Tuesday, Fedor joined Gov. Tom Wolf and other officials at York’s Crispus Attucks Early Learning Center, where she has enrolled her daughters, to discuss a new state tax credit program that aims to help parents cover the rising cost of child care.

The roughly $25 million program, approved as a part of this year’s state budget, will provide about 221,000 Pennsylvania families with refundable tax credits when they file their 2023 Pennsylvania returns. The program is intended to augment an existing federal child care tax credit program, Wolf said Tuesday.

“One of the barriers to a really strong economy is access to childcare,” Wolf said “We have to figure out how to make it affordable, accessible, and safe for everyone in Pennsylvania.”

Right now, Pennsylvania families pay about $12,000 a year for child care, according to data compiled by the Economic Policy Institute

The new state program, which covers 30 percent of the approved federal expense, will provide:

  • $180 for one child or $360 for two or more children for households earning above $43,000, or
  • $315 for one child or $630 for two or more children for households earning less than $43,000, the administration said.

“Pennsylvania families deserve our help now more than ever. With the cost-of-living at an all-time high and with the extraordinary surplus in our Rainy Day Fund, now is the time to be investing in our families,” Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York, said in a statement.

“In addition to financially supporting families and allowing parents to return to work, this will give a boost to the childcare sector, which is still recovering from the pandemic,” Hill-Evans continued. “Right now, over 90 percent of childcare centers are facing worker shortages. With more families able to afford childcare, these centers will be closer to pre-pandemic attendance levels.”

Because the tax credit was created through a budget appropriation, it must be annually reauthorized. Wolf, who will leave office in January 2023 after serving the constitutional maximum of two, four-year terms, said he hopes lawmakers will build on the program.

“I think this is just the start,” he said.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site.

John L. Micek
John L. Micek

A 3-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning political reporter, Micek’s career has taken him from small town meetings and Chicago City Hall to Congress and the Pennsylvania Capitol. His weekly column on U.S. politics is syndicated to 800 newspapers nationwide by Cagle Syndicate. He also contributes commentary and analysis to broadcast outlets in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Micek’s first novel, “Ordinary Angels,” was released in 2019 by Sunbury Press.

MORE FROM AUTHOR

More Video