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News Brief

Jan. 22, 2024 |  By: Farah Siddiqi - Public News Service

Child care tax credits gain momentum in MO


By Farah Siddiqi - Public News Service

While Missouri's legislative session has just begun, child-care tax credits are at top of mind with a bipartisan House bill.

HB 1488 takes a three-pronged approach to supplementing the child-care industry.

Casey Hanson, deputy director with Kids Win Missouri, said it will help make strides in Missouri's child-care deserts and help with better outcomes for all Missouri children.

She added that it's Gov. Mike Parson's final term, and because he's a big supporter of the child-care tax credits, pre-K funding, and subsidies, she's excited to hear his State of the State address on Wednesday.

"The governor has really prioritized child care and early education, and this will be the last year of his term, so one more shot to make a bang," said Hanson. "So, we're hopeful to see if there are any other things that he's planning to put forth in his budget."

Casey said she hopes a companion bill in the Senate will have a hearing scheduled either later this week or the next.

Casey said the Child Tax Credit may help bring about some innovative ways to use the tax credits to create partnerships between businesses and child-care programs that could benefit children, families and communities in the long term.

She suggested that people continue to be vocal about their needs to ensure they are heard.

"Missouri Child Advocacy Day," said Hanson, "that's an opportunity for the average Missourian parents, providers, people that care about children to come to the Capitol and talk about the issues that are important to them and just to tell their story and what's impacting them to their legislators on March 6."

Missouri misses an estimated $1.35 billion annually for the state's economy, including a $280 million annual loss in tax revenue because of child care-related issues, according to research by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry.