Proposal would help lower child care costs for Michigan families 

LANSING, Mich. (June 25, 2024) Today, Sen. Kristen McDonald Rivet (D-Bay City) expressed her appreciation for the continued and growing support for Senate Bill 838, her legislation to create the Working Parents Tax Credit. This includes a letter of support for the bill sent to policymakers this week from the Coalition for a Working Parents Tax Cut, a broad group of more than 80 business, nonprofit and faith leaders.

The credit will help more families afford child care by putting dollars back in the pockets of parents with children from infancy to 3 years old. Based on the same eligibility as the Earned Income Tax Credit, the credit will be refundable and paid monthly for an annual total of $5,500 per young child per family.

“I have dedicated my career to creating better outcomes for kids and their families, and there is no greater need for investment than improving our child care system,” said Sen. McDonald Rivet. “The lack of affordable child care is a threat to our economy as a whole, and that’s shown by the wide support of this coalition and the number of business voices that are a part of it. This proposal is pro-work and pro-family and I will keep working to address this pressing need.”

Since the pandemic, the scope of the child care problem has reached a tipping point in Michigan’s economy, exacerbating workforce shortages, and impacting productivity. We have dropped to 39th in the nation for workforce participation. The lack of child care is the top reason young workers are choosing not to enter the workforce and finding a solution is now ranked as the number one concern for employers. It is a listed priority of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and local and regional chambers around the state, Business Leaders of Michigan, and virtually every major employer in the state.

Sen. McDonald Rivet’s bill is part of the broader bicameral “Child Care for All” plan. That proposal will also update and modernize licensing requirements to help ease the financial burden on child care providers and professionals and help streamline and expand access to child care subsidies. The Child Care for All bills have been assigned to the Senate Committee on Housing and Human Services and House Committee on Tax Policy respectively.