Hartford Foundation Submits Testimony in Support of Senate Bill 92 An Act Establishing a Tax Credit for Employers That Make Payments Toward Child Care Costs of Employees
On Wednesday, February 17, the Hartford for Public Giving submitted testimony in support of Senate Bill 92, An Act Establishing a Tax Credit for Employers That Make Payments Toward Child Care Costs of Employees, to the legislature’s Children’s Committee.
Since 1987, the Foundation has invested more than $40 million in early childhood development in the Greater Hartford area. It is our goal to ensure that all children, especially those most vulnerable, have access to high quality early childhood experiences. The Foundation has supported early childhood policy, funding, and program quality, recognizing their importance in ensuring optimal safety and learning outcomes for children and pathways to economic security for their families and caregivers.
The Foundation appreciates the legislature’s recognition of the vital role child care plays in supporting working families and applaud this effort to incentivize employers who support child care for their employees. Unfortunately, many residents most in need of support for child care services work in low paying jobs and their employers are not likely to offer financial support for child care. To that end, the Hartford Foundation encourages the legislature to support legislation to expand access to the state’s Care 4 Kids child care subsidy. For many working families, access to affordable, reliable, and high-quality child care is a necessity to attain and maintain a job, as well as to foster the learning and development of their young children. Care4Kids is a critical program that ensures working parents can access safe, high-quality child care. We encourage lawmakers to also ensure that parents pursuing education or training are also eligible for Care 4 Kids to support their efforts to increase their earning potential and help families exit poverty and reach greater self-sufficiency.
The Foundation also encourages legislators to allocate additional support for home-based family child care centers that are key to solving the dire shortage of child care for infants and toddlers, care that is linguistically and culturally appropriate as well as available during nontraditional hours. Many of these home-based child care providers have ceased operations after losing business during the COVID shutdown. These providers were already faced with significant barriers, everything from a lack of basic business skills to property owners and condominium associations that do not allow home-based businesses.