Affordable, high-quality child care is a public good that is critical to the success of our children, families, and economy. It helps families go to work, attend school, or take care of other household responsibilities. And it supports their children’s growth and development, and fuels our economy.

Child care has long been unaffordable for working families in this country, with the burden of the lack of child care investments disproportionately falling on working women, including the underpaid women of color in the child care workforce. All families should have access to high-quality, affordable child care provided by caregivers who are paid what they deserve and supported with resources and training. Direct assistance through the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF), along with federal and state tax assistance, can alleviate the burden child care expenses place on family budgets, help working women stay in the workforce and be able to support themselves and their families, and advance gender and racial equity.

What’s at Stake Today

About seven in ten mothers are in the labor force ― and they depend on child care. Unfortunately, the costs of care are high. Tax credits can help families pay for child care ― but they must work for families struggling to make ends meet.

What Is NWLC Doing?

Tax credits can only help families afford child care if tax policies are designed to meet families’ needs ― and if families know how to get the credits that can benefit them. That’s where we come in.

We work with lawmakers to improve federal and state policies that determine whether families can benefit from tax credits and how much help they can receive. We push to improve the credits for families who struggle to pay for the child care they need to earn a living.

We also work with advocates and community leaders across the country to get the message out to working families about the tax credits they’re eligible for and how they can claim them. Working together, we’ve kept families from missing out on thousands of dollars in tax assistance.