Child care could be impossible for struggling families to afford. To combat this, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services is offering services to assist working families.
PENNSYLVANIA STATE | Pennsylvania’s Child and Dependent Care Enhancement Program is designed with families struggling to afford child care in mind. During a recent visit to Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha in Philadelphia, Senator Christine Tartaglione and Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary, Meg Snead highlighted this program.
“The past two and a half years have been incredibly difficult for families across the commonwealth, and many are still feeling the effects of lost wages, increasing costs, illness, caring for loved ones, and so much more,” said Snead. “We have an obligation as government officials to help those we serve, and I am proud of the child care tax credit included in this year’s budget. Everyone deserves the dignity of being able to pay for their families basic needs like food, housing, child care, and health care. And while the child care tax credit is a great first step, we must continue directly investing in Pennsylvanians.”
The Child and Dependent Care Enhancement Program is intended to provide additional support to families who qualify for the federal child and dependent care tax credit. To date, more than 220,000 families are receiving the federal credit in Pennsylvania. All of these families are expected to receive the state tax credit as well.
The state credit can be claimed when filing taxes beginning in 2023. This credit is refundable and will not incur any state taxes on distributed amounts. The amount that each family receives is based on the household income, however, it is estimated that the average tax credit will be around $171.
According to the DHS Pennsylvanians paying for childcare services could be eligible for the following credits:
- $180 (one child) or $360 (two or more children) for households earning above $43,000, or
- $315 (one child) or $630 (two or more children) for households earning less than $43,000.
Additionally, State Senator Tina Tartaglione introduced Senate Bill 1349. This bill will fund the PA Opportunity Program and allow direct payments of $2,000 to be made to Pennsylvania households with an income of $80,000 or less.
“Our neighbors need our help; it’s as plain as that,” said Senator Tartaglione. “We have the opportunity right now to step up and put the support of the Commonwealth behind those who need it the most. As we grapple with rising costs coupled with a minimum wage that hasn’t been adjusted by the state’s legislature in 5,947 days, the PA Opportunity Program and the Child and Dependent Care Enhancement Program will directly help the Pennsylvanians who need it the most.”
Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM) is a 52-year-old multifaceted nonprofit providing health, human services, and community development services to help families achieve their greatest potential. Providing services such as individualized teaching, health services, free breakfast, lunch, snacks, parent involvement, bilingual staff, and more.
“The PA Opportunity Program accompanied with the child care tax credit will go a long way in helping families at a time when it’s most needed,” said Nilda Ruiz, CEO of APM. “APM and our community are so grateful to Governor Wolf, Senator Tartaglione, and those who voted for this program.”
To find licensed childcare programs operating in Pennsylvania visit www.findchildcare.pa.gov. Families who are having trouble finding a provider or who are lower income and need assistance paying for care can contact their local Early Learning Resource Center at www.raiseyourstar.org.