|Posted:||March 13, 2017 10:23 AM|
|From:||Representative Morgan Cephas|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Child Care Legislation Package|
|In the near future, I plan to introduce a three-bill package that is designed to better provide for the childcare needs of parents, including parents who are seeking to better their lives through higher education or workforce training, or those who are employed.
I hope you will join me in cosponsoring these important legislative proposals. Thank you in advance for your consideration.
Introduced as HB1161
Require consideration of childcare expenses in postsecondary institution financial aid decisions:
According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), approximately 26 percent of undergraduate students are raising dependent children, with female students and students of color being disproportionately more likely to be raising children while attending school. Also, a 2013 report issued by the Institute for Higher Education Policy and IWPR found that student-parents were more than twice as likely to be low-income (at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level) than dependent students who were not parents, and single student-parents were more than three times as likely to be low-income than those other students. Further, student-parents were more than twice as likely to work full-time while attending school than dependent peers. Not surprisingly, when compared with students without dependent children, the report found that students with children are less likely to complete their degree or certificate program, and are more likely to have low-incomes and have higher debt levels after graduation.
With more adults with children returning to higher education to obtain credentials to make themselves more marketable in the workforce, we should help more families move to family-sustaining wages by making childcare considerations a part of financial aid decisions.
Bill #1 – This bill would require postsecondary educational institutions to consider a student’s childcare expenses when calculating decisions on the amount of financial aid that a student is eligible to receive. This bill would apply to Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) institutions, State-related institutions (Pennsylvania State University, University of Pittsburgh, Temple University, and Lincoln University), and community colleges.
Introduced as HB1160
Parent eligible for two years of child care assistance if enrolled in postsecondary education or workforce training:
Enterprising parents eligible to receive subsidized child care assistance who are enrolled in postsecondary education or workforce training should be able to follow these pursuits with the assurance of receiving such assistance for at least two years while they do so. We should be supporting such individuals and helping them to not only work toward achieving their dreams of a better life for themselves and their families, but to become independent, self-sustaining, contributors to this Commonwealth’s economy.
Currently, Pennsylvania’s Child Care Works Subsidized Child Care Program requires that an eligible applicant either work 20 hours or more per week, or work 10 hours and go to school or train for 10 hours per week.
Bill #2 – This bill would change the requirements for the Child Care Works program so that a parent who is not employed but who is enrolled in a postsecondary education program or a workforce training program is eligible for child care assistance for at least two years of the postsecondary education or workforce training program as long as the parent meets all other eligibility requirements. Under this bill, counties may give priority for services to a working family over a family enrolled in postsecondary education or workforce training, and its provisions would only be effective subject to available funding.
Introduced as HB1159
Provide tax credit for businesses that furnish child day-care to employees:
We should incentivize businesses to support their employees by furnishing them with child care during work hours. This is a win/win for each party; businesses receive a tax credit for supporting their employees who, in turn, are better able to be productive workers who have peace-of-mind when their child’s day care needs are being fully supported.
Bill #3 – This bill (former House Bill 282 of 2013) provides for the Employee Child Day-Care Tax Incentive Act, which would create a tax credit for an employer who furnishes employee child day care during the working hours of the employee, either on the premises of the employer or through reimbursing an employee for any portion of the costs of employee child day care.