Credit would ease child care costs for middle class New Yorkers, currently highest in nation

City Hall — Today, Speaker Christine C. Quinn and State Senator Simcha Felder announced State legislation that will ease the cost of child care for middle class families in New York City.

The Middle Class Child Care Tax Credit, first proposed in Speaker Quinn’s 2013 State of the City address, will increase the child care tax credit offered to low-income families and will expand the credit to include middle-class households.

Speaker Quinn and Senator Felder made the announcement with The Children’s Aid Society, United Neighborhood Houses, the Children’s Defense Fund and parents.

“We must rein in the skyrocketing cost of child care and make it affordable for all New Yorkers,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “The Middle Class Child Care Tax Credit will ease the cost of childcare in New York City— the highest in the nation— and will provide expanded assistance to low-income and middle class parents with young children and I thank Senator Felder and Assembly Member Farrell for sponsoring this important legislation.”

New York has the most expensive infant day care costs in the country. In 2012, the average cost of day care was $14,000.

The legislation, sponsored by State Senator Simcha Felder and Assembly Member Herman D. Farrell, Jr., will make child care more affordable for parents by providing expanded assistance to New Yorkers with children under the age of 4.

Currently, only households with adjusted gross incomes of $25,000 or less can benefit from the full tax credit for child care. The expanded credit will offer tax relief to parents with incomes of up to $170,000.

“The Child Care Tax Credit legislation is in keeping with my commitment to help middle class taxpayers and their families survive,” said Senate Sponsor Senator Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn). “Especially during these difficult economic times, we have to do everything we can to ease the burden on taxpayers, and put money back into the pockets of hard-working New Yorkers where it belongs. I am very proud to sponsor the Speaker’s common-sense legislation.”

More than 100,000 families will benefit from the expanded child care credit, which would be equal to the applicable percentage of the Federal tax credit for dependent care services. The percentage would be:

· 90 percent for incomes of $45,000 or less

· For incomes between $45,001 and $60,000, the credit phases down from 90 percent to 50 percent

· 50 percent for incomes between $60,001 and $150,000

· For incomes between $150,001 and $175,000, the credit phases down from 50 percent to zero

With child care credits from all levels of government, middle-class families will receive tax credits of up to $1,000 for one child and $2,000 credit for two or more children.

“New Yorkers have the highest child care costs in the country,” said Assembly Member Herman D. Farrell, Jr. “Our legislation will help offset these costs and will make it easier for the middle class to support their families. I thank my colleagues in government for their work on this common sense legislation.”

“An expansion of the Child Care Tax Credit is the right thing to do,” said General Welfare Committee Chair Annabel Palma. “It puts real dollars into the pockets of thousands of working families who are currently being denied access to the middle class by the sky-high cost of child care and allows them to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. I thank Speaker Quinn for her leadership on this initiative.”

“Child care costs in New York City are at an all time high,” said Council Member Helen Foster. “The Middle Class Child Care Tax Credit will go a long way in ensuring hardworking parents can support their families and I thank my colleagues in government for working on this important legislation.”

“Too many New York families across our neighborhoods struggle to find affordable, quality early childhood programs that support working parents and give children the foundation they need to be ready for kindergarten — high quality early childhood programs that put children on the pathway to academic success,” said Richard R. Buery, President and CEO of The Children’s Aid Society. “The Children’s Aid Society applauds Speaker Quinn for her proposal to broaden access to these critical services for more New York City families, which will strengthen our city’s neighborhoods and economy.”

“We applaud the New York City Council’s leadership on making affordable child care more available to low-income families by expanding the child care tax credit and by fighting the Mayor’s proposal to cut critical child care and after-school slots for 47,000 children,” said Melanie Hartzog, Executive Director of Children’s Defense Fund-New York. “Working families desperately need affordable quality child care so their children can thrive. Expanding the tax credit to serve more low-income families and include middle-income families will make child care affordable for many more working families in New York City.”

“Child care plays an extremely important role in preparing young children for kindergarten and in enabling their parents to work; yet, the cost of child care for young children is so expensive that it often creates tremendous financial hardship for working parents,” said Citizens’ Committee for Children Executive Director Jennifer March-Joly. “Citizens’ Committee for Children supports City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s proposal to expand the City’s current refundable Child Care Tax Credit to help to offset the cost of child care for a greater number of New York City families.”

“Improving educational achievement in New York City requires that all children can receive a high quality early childhood education. Yet, many parents cannot find an affordable program for their children,” said United Neighborhood Houses Executive Director Nancy Wackstein. “We need both to expand access to subsidized child care programs and ensure that parents can afford to make investments in their young children’s education. United Neighborhood Houses is excited to work with Speaker Quinn to expand access to high quality early childhood education.”

“Child care is a must for working parents, and low-income families often find themselves spending as much as 20% of their income on this necessity,” said United Way President and CEO Sheena Wright. “United Way of New York City applauds this legislative effort to expand the New York City Child Care Tax Credit, which will provide a much-needed financial boost to many of the families we serve.”