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updated: 4/19/2017 6:16 PM

Build early childhood credits into tax reform

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I have seen the importance of quality child care, like that offered at the Community Child Care Center of Palatine Township. Centers like these offer an array of services for at-risk kids, giving them a promising future. Without these centers, kids fall behind and never catch up.

High quality early learning and care, are some of the most effective ways to help kids escape poverty. It leads to higher graduation and employment rates, and it helps build a more prepared workforce. Unfortunately, not all kids have access to these programs.

Because low-income working families often pay very little income tax, traditional models of helping parents pay for child care, like tax credits, can't always help lower their costs. This can result in parents not being able to go to work or being forced to place their children in lower quality care environments. Earlier this year, the Early Childhood Education Action Tank, a diverse coalition of children's advocacy groups, businesses and financial institutions convened by Save the Children Action Network, released proposals for tax reform that would help break down the two greatest barriers to early childhood education: cost and lack of access to quality programs.

One of the Action Tank's recommendations is expanding tax credits and deductions for early childhood education. Now, the Trump administration and Congress have an opportunity to include this idea and others into upcoming tax reform legislation. Please join me in urging our congressmen to include early childhood education tax credits in tax reform.

Lisa Goranson

Palatine

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