January 19, 2024 Less than a minute read

Child care legislative package moves forward

An innovative legislative package that would increase the capacity of child care providers and help businesses offer child care benefits to support the retention and recruitment of employees is quickly making its way through the Missouri Legislature.

This week, the Senate Governmental Accountability Committee heard testimony on SB 742, sponsored by Sen. Lauren Arthur (D-Kansas City).

This legislation offers three types of tax credits: 

  • Child Care Contribution Tax Credit: 75% tax credit for businesses, charitable organizations and individuals on contributions to a licensed or registered child care provider.
  • Employer-Provided Child Care Assistance Tax Credit: 30% tax credit on eligible child care expenditures for employers’ on-site or off-premises child care for employees.
  • Child Care Providers Tax Credit: Credit for payroll tax withholdings for employees or eligible capital improvements to a child care facility

Sen. Arthur said, “When parents have reliable child care, they’re more focused and productive at work. It reduces absenteeism and turnover rates. An investment in child care reflects a commitment to the well-being of employees and allows our state to attract and retain talent.”

Arthur also cited a study by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry and U.S. Chamber of Commerce which showed Missouri’s economy has lost out on an estimated $1.35 billion annually because of child care issues.

Kara Corches, vice president of governmental affairs for the Missouri Chamber, said research shows 9% of parents have voluntarily left their jobs due to child care issues.

“It’s really hard to find child care,” she added. “If you are lucky enough to find it, can you afford it? This legislation has the dual impact of expanding the capacity of child care infrastructure and supporting businesses that want to help their employees.”

The House Workforce and Infrastructure Development Committee unanimously passed out the companion bill,  HB 1488, sponsored by Rep. Brenda Shields (R-St. Joseph). It now heads to the House floor for debate.

Bipartisan child care legislation in 2023 was endorsed by the Missouri Chamber but was one of many bills that were blocked by a small group of legislators who brought Senate action to a halt in the last days of the session.

For more information, contact Corches at kcorches@mochamber.com or 573-634-3511.

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