February 22, 2023 2 min read

Missouri Chamber strongly supports child care legislative package

A study done last year found that Missouri’s economy loses out on $1.35 billion annually because of child care issues. 

With this in mind, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently testified in favor of an innovative legislative package which would expand the capacity of child care providers and help businesses offer child care benefits to support the retention and recruitment of employees.  

HB 870, sponsored by Rep. Brenda Shields (R-St. Joseph), offers three types of tax credits: 

  • One tax credit can be utilized by businesses to make contributions to employees’ child care providers to offset their costs. Contributions must be used by child care providers to promote child care for children under the age of 12.
  • Another tax credit is for employer-sponsored child care (on-site or contracted by an off-site provider).
  • The third tax credit is to support child care providers in making capital investments to acquire or improve their facilities and to support their workforce through payroll tax deductions. 

Speaking before the House Children and Families Committee, Shields said child care must be reliable for employers and affordable for families. 

“This legislation provides an innovative solution to this problem by allowing communities to decide what type of child care they need,” Shields said. “This legislation creates three tax credit programs to fund child care in our state. It’s innovative because business, government and parents will all participate in the cost of care, making it affordable for families, stable for child care providers and creating a reliable workforce for business.”   

“A lot of people used to think that child care was just an issue for working moms to figure out,” said Missouri Chamber Vice President of Governmental Affairs Kara Corches. “What we have found through research, through polling, and through non-stop calls from businesses across the state is that child care is not simply a women’s issue, it is a workforce issue, and it is an economic issue for the state.” 

Corches went on to say, “We survey business leaders and CEOs every year. For the first time ever in this annual poll, we asked a question about child care. The results were staggering. Almost 80% of business owners in Missouri say the cost and availability of child care is making it harder for them to recruit and retain employees.” 

There is a companion bill in the Senate, SB 509, which is sponsored by Sen. Lauren Arthur (D-Kansas City). 

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

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