Early Childhood

Advocates Coalesce Around Tax Policy Proposals to Support Early Learning

By Christina A. Samuels — January 24, 2017 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Reports say the Trump administration is gearing up to make child care affordability part of a comprehensive tax reform proposal, and a coalition of early-childhood advocates want to be a part of that conversation.

The Early Childhood Education Action Tank, which includes organizations such as the First Five Years Fund, PNC Bank, and Goldman Sachs, released a report suggesting several ways current tax law could be changed to help low- and middle-income families pay for high-quality child care and preschool.

Among the suggestions from the group:


  • Make the Child and Dependent Care Credit fully refundable. Currently, the credit is between 20 and 35 percent of the first $3,000 spent on care for one child, and the first $6,000 spent on care for two or more children. However, families cannot be reimbursed for more than their total tax liability. So, the paper notes, “a single parent earning $15,000 and spending $1,200 on child care would only qualify for a $86 credit because that is the total tax he or she owes.” Making the credit refundable, however, would put money back in the pockets of low-income families, and allow them to take full advantage of the credit as higher-income families can.

  • Create parity between higher education and early-childhood education by allowing parents some of the same tax advantages for early care that currently exist for college students. For example, the Lifetime Learning Credit helps individuals pay for tuition and related expenses for higher education. The credit is nonrefundable and worth up to $2,000 per tax return. The Early Childhood Education Action Tank said this credit could be expanded to include qualifying early-education and care expenses.

  • Start a federal program that rewards private businesses for investing in early-childhood programs, modeled after Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program. In Pennsylvania, businesses can receive a tax credit equal to 75 percent of their contribution to an approved entity up to a maximum of $750,000 per year. The money helps pay for preschool for families below a certain income level. A federal program would not have to mirror Pennsylvania’s system exactly, but could still spur greater investment in early-childhood programs than the current charitable deduction.

It’s intentional that the group’s recommendations focused on tax policy, as opposed to making requests for more money from Congress, said Mark Shriver, the president of the Save the Children Action Network. His organization convened the group, which has been working on these proposals since 2015. Tax reform is clearly a priority of the new administration and Congress, he said.

“Are we the number one priority for the legislative branch and the administration? No. But we are pushing for a seat at the table when those decisions are made,” Shriver said.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Early Years blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Early Childhood Opinion Waterford Upstart on Providing Remote Learning to 90,000 Pre-K Kids
Rick Hess speaks with Dr. LaTasha Hadley of Waterford Upstart about its use of adaptive software to close gaps in kindergarten readiness.
6 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Early Childhood Opinion How Two Child-Care Centers Put Competition Aside and Created a Partnership During COVID-19
Due to COVID-19, two early-childhood centers put their competition aside to work together to support families during the pandemic.
Charles Dinofrio
7 min read
Early Childhood New Players Fill Child-Care Gap as Schools Go Remote
As school districts move to remote instruction for the fall, day-care providers, dance studios, and after-school programs step in to fill school-day child-care gaps.
7 min read
A student works on schoolwork earlier this month at the Wharton Dobson Club in Wharton, Texas, part of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Houston. For a small fee, the organization is offering a full-day program that provides students a safe place to complete their remote learning classwork and socialize with friends.
A student works on schoolwork earlier this month at the Wharton Dobson Club in Wharton, Texas, part of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Houston. For a small fee, the organization is offering a full-day program that provides students a safe place to complete their remote learning classwork and socialize with friends.
Courtesy of Boys and Girls Club of Greater Houston
Early Childhood Will Kindergartens Be Empty This Fall?
As cases of COVID-19 continue to grow, parents around the country are struggling with whether to send their child to kindergarten this fall. Some say they won't.
6 min read
Satiria Clayton was looking forward to her 5-year-old son Cassius starting kindergarten this year in Tempe, Ariz., but the recent spike in coronavirus cases has left her, like many other parents, worried about what to expect. "In an ideal would I would love to stay at home and teach him,” she said. “The reality is I have to send him to school."
Satiria Clayton was looking forward to her 5-year-old son Cassius starting kindergarten this year in Tempe, Ariz., but the recent spike in coronavirus cases has left her, like many other parents, worried about what to expect. "In an ideal would I would love to stay at home and teach him,” she said. “The reality is I have to send him to school."
Courtesy of Satiria Clayton