Proposed policy aims to lower child care costs

Proposed policy aims to lower child care costs

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Wednesday night child care providers learned more about a possible tax credit to not only make child care more affordable but provide them with more money to operate.

"Low income families face a lot of challenges in our state and affording quality childcare is a really important part of that," Noami Lett with United Way said.

The cost of child care is causing some parents to look for cheaper options and with cheaper places available, child care workers said that quality child care services are struggling.

"You can have child care down the street with Twenty other kids there that don't really get attention or nobody picks them up all day," Lett said.

"It is difficult for us because you only have limited funds to work with and you're trying to find quality staff," Child care worker Kathy Jones said.

Possible changes could be coming that would help both providers and families through a proposed policy initiative called the School Readiness Tax Credit.

Advocacy groups want more families to take advantage of the quality rated child care centers by giving money back to not families but the providers.

Thursday evening they met with local providers, and heard they struggles they face in trying to take care of kids while dealing with many obstacles.

"We looked and Louisiana has what is called a School Readiness Tax Credit, and we're bringing that information to the providers today. We want to speak with them to make sure as we design a proposal here that we would like to put forth in South Carolina that it reflects their challenges their experiences the solutions that they feel like need to be in place," Lett said.

Jones said a tax credit could help keep more people in the child care field, and also allow more parents to put their children in a quality rated child care center.

"When you have two children or three children and you're having to provide childcare one parent is working to pay for childcare," Jones said.

The School Readiness Tax Credit proposed policy initiative said tax credits would go to four fields:

  • Child Care Director & Staff Credit
  • Child Care Provider Tax Credit
  • Child Care Expense Credit
  • Business Tax Credit.
United Way and other family advocacy groups are working on this proposed policy initiative.
They expect it to make it to the South Carolina statehouse within a couple years.

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