WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) announced that he officially introduced the Child Care Flex Spending Act as an amendment to the Child Care and Development Block Grant Reauthorization that is currently being debated on the U.S. Senate floor. This amendment would double the amount parents can set aside tax-free for child care costs, making child care more affordable for millions of families across the country.
“It’s shocking how much child care costs for thousands of families across Connecticut. Hard working families are struggling to pay the bills as it is, and the high cost of child care is only making things worse,” said Murphy. “This amendment will allow families to double the amount of pre-tax money they can put into a flexible savings account, making it easier to afford the exorbitant cost of child care.”
Since 1981, Congress has allowed employers to provide flexible spending accounts to their employees. These accounts give employees the option of setting aside money tax-free to pay for their dependent care needs. In 1986, these accounts were capped at $5,000 but not indexed to inflation, leaving middle class families struggling with ever-higher child care costs. Murphy’s amendment would allow employees who make less than $200,000 a year to set aside up to $10,000 per year to help pay for child care costs, and would be adjusted for inflation over time.
This legislation has also been introduced in the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro.