March 20, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) was honored with the “Congressional Champion for Children” Award by Save the Children Action Network. The award, which was presented during the annual Invest in Kids Advocacy Summit, was presented to Senator King for his leadership in sponsoring the Promoting Affordable Childcare for Everyone (PACE) Act.
“Quality childcare makes a major difference in the lives of young people in Maine and across the country, and we should be doing everything in our power to make it affordable and accessible for working families ” said Senator King. “Save the Children Action Network is doing just that: working on behalf of children and families to improve lives. I’m grateful for their continued support of the PACE Act, and humbled to receive this honor from SCAN. I look forward to continuing our work together on behalf of America’s children.
For many families, the cost of childcare can make it difficult to maintain employment and make ends meet. In nearly half of the country, the annual cost of full-time childcare for a 4-year old is greater than the average cost of in-state tuition at a 4-year college or university. Those pressures are felt most by low-wage workers who spend on average more than 30 percent of their income on childcare.
While the federal government provides two significant tax benefits to help offset childcare costs – the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC) and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) – they are both in need of an update. For example, neither policies have kept pace with inflation, meaning they have become less useful over time as the cost of childcare has increased.
The PACE Act would enact several changes to make both tax policies immediately more generous and modify them to reflect the changing economic landscape by requiring annual inflation adjustments that will provide families with greater spending power when seeking care for their children. Because both tax provisions affect care for the elderly and individuals with disabilities, those enhanced benefits will extend to them as well.
Save the Children Action Network is a political advocacy organization that focuses on early childhood education and ending preventable deaths, and has been a strong supporter of Sen. King’s PACE ACT. In November 2017, Senator King and the organization’s CEO Mark Shriver co-authored an op-ed for the Portland Press Herald in support of the legislation. In addition to Senator King, the group also presented “Congressional Champion for Children” Awards to Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Representatives Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) and Hal Rogers (R-Ky.).