Daycare Dilemmas Pt. 4: Child Care Costs Continue to Rise

Governor Dayton to Propose Tax Credit

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In the final part of our “Daycare Dilemmas” series, we look at what the state of Minnesota is doing to make daycare more affordable.

Right now, Minnesota is the 3rd most expensive state in the nation for childcare. 

“This is not a list we want to be on the top of but it is where we are,” said Revenue Commissioner Cynthia Bauerly.

On average, childcare costs $901 per month for one child in Minnesota. 

“This credit would allow families at that lower income to receive up to $2,100,” said Bauerly.

To make it more affordable, Governor Dayton is proposing an expansion of the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. 

The credit will provide nearly $100 million in direct tax relief for 130,000 Minnesota families.

The credit right now is available for 38,000 families.

“Instead of having an income cap of about $39,000 we would increase that too families with one child to $112,000 and $124,000 to families with two or more children,” said Bauerly. 

Many families on the Iron Range will be eligible for the proposal, but it’s hard for working parents to be able to even find a daycare. 

Families in parts of Northeastern Minnesota are struggling to even find facilities for their kids. 

“What we are having problems with is just space issues,” said Iron Range (DFL) Rep. Carly Melin. 

So, the question becomes, “How can they provide families with more daycare options?”

It’s something Melin is focusing on during this year’s legislative session. 

“We are missing some of these quality of life piece,” said Melin.

Her fear is that it will be harder to keep young families in St. Louis County. 

“We need to address this in order to keep our economy vibrant and growing,” said Melin. 

Now, it’s still about finding a solution. 

But Melin believes the Governor’s proposal will be of some help. 

Melin expresses that, “An additional tax credit for child care will help a lot on the affordability end of thing.”

The credit was proposed last Tuesday. 

The state will be working with the legislature and Senate Tax Committee over the next couple of weeks.

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