Thousands of Pennsylvania families could soon get some extra cash under the new kids tax credit plan. The purpose of this new Pennsylvania childcare tax credit is to help families cover the rising costs of gas, food and utilities. It is estimated that more than 200,000 families in the state could qualify for a payment of up to $630.
Child and Dependent Care Improvement Program
Governor Tom Wolf announced a few months ago the new childcare tax credit plan, the Child and Dependent Care Enhancement Program. It has now been highlighted by the Department of Human Services (DHS) as a plan that “can help reduce the cost of childcare for working families.”
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Rising childcare costs are a burden on working families, and if it becomes unaffordable, it can keep parents away from the workforce. It could also keep children out of early learning programs. The Economic Policy Institute estimates that the average cost of baby care in Pennsylvania is about $12,000.
Separately, studies show that children with access to quality childcare and Pre-K programs perform relatively better in school and are more likely to graduate as well. In addition, high-quality early learning programs also help children develop the social and emotional skills needed to succeed in the classroom and beyond.
These may be the reasons why the Wolf Administration’s 2022-23 state budget includes this new child tax relief program, the Child and Dependent Care Enhancement Program. The Wolf administration has set aside $25 million to send the credit to eligible families.
“I wanted to create this state-level childcare tax credit to support our hard-working families, our staff, our children, and our combined success in this commonwealth,” said Gov. Wolf earlier.
New Pennsylvania Childcare Tax Credit: Who Gets It and How Much?
The latest child tax credit plan in Pennsylvania would benefit working families with children in daycare, who were eligible for the federal child and dependent care tax credit. The credit would be available to eligible families beginning in 2023 after filing their state taxes.
More than 220,000 families received the federal credit in the state, and about the same number of families could also qualify for this new Pennsylvania stimulus check.
Eligible families with incomes over $43,000 get $180 if they have one child or $360 if they have two or more children. Likewise, families with incomes less than $43,000 get $315 if they have one child or $630 if they have two or more children.
Along with this new child tax credit, Gov. Wolf devised many other incentive programs that directly or indirectly benefit residents, including $140 million in direct real estate tax credits, $375 million for safe and affordable housing, $90 million to stabilize the childcare workforce, $1 million for a Hunger Free Campus Initiative and $100 million for adult mental health.