from Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz on Mother's Day:
I want to wish a happy Mother’s Day to all the proud parents of Southeastern Pennsylvania. As a mother and grandmother, I know how challenging it can be to balance the demands of family and work, whether it’s shuttling between sports practices and music lessons, staying on the job late into the night, or welcoming a new baby or grandchild into the world. Parenting is more than a full-time job, and Mother’s Day gives us the chance to thank the women whose love, support and encouragement has such a crucial impact on our lives.As the only woman in Pennsylvania’s 20-member Congressional delegation, I am committed to ensuring that working mothers and fathers across our state are able to provide the best care possible for their children. Over the last 35 years, the number of two-income families has nearly doubled and the cost of child care has skyrocketed. Working parents are the backbone of our economy, and too many families in Pennsylvania are struggling to find high-quality care for their children that won’t break the bank.That's why I will be reintroducing the Support Working Parents Act this week to help ease this financial burden by allowing all working families nationwide, regardless of their income, to receive a 35 percent tax credit for the cost of their child care expenses. This will almost double the current tax break middle-income families receive for child care costs. Under my legislation, a typical American family with two children would receive a tax credit to cover up to $2,100 in childcare costs, up from $1,200 under current law.The costs of child care are staggering. In 39 states, one year’s worth of infant day care costs more than a year’s tuition at a four-year public university. In Pennsylvania, quality child care can easily top $10,000 annually, with the average cost of full-time day care for an infant ranging from about $8,000 to roughly $10,500. Meanwhile, the average annual in-state tuition and fees for a public four-year college in Pennsylvania is about $12,000.Expanding the child care tax credit for middle-income families will strengthen our economic recovery by helping parents balance their responsibilities at work and at home. In these challenging economic times, I will continue to make every effort to give parents the flexibility to return to the workforce knowing they can afford high-quality care for their children.