Little darlings (
by Dan Burns
Jan 30, 2023, 11:30 AM

Real help with childcare costs would be a great deal, practically and politically

I never claim to speak for everybody, for all progressives, or for that matter for anybody but myself. But I do venture to guess that a great many progressives in Minnesota have particular items that are nearest and dearest to their hearts, among all that is going on at the lege these days. Mine is getting parents help with childcare expenses.

And Walz proposes creating a child tax credit for families with low income that would amount to $1,000 per child with a maximum credit of $3,000. The credit would apply to families earning $50,000 or less.

The governor’s plan would expand access to existing child care subsidies and tax credits, which he said would reduce costs for 100,000 Minnesota households. He also proposes expanding public pre-K programs to make them available to nearly 25,000 families.

My understanding is that this is pretty much in line with what a lot of DFLers in the legislature have had in mind at least since the election, and since all of this news about big budget surpluses started regularly rolling in. This proposal, for example.

I’ve worked with, or otherwise known, plenty of parents of young children who were stuck with the same no-win choice. Do both of you work, only to have (at least) most of one of those paychecks go to child care providers? Or does one parent stay home, and get to actually raise their own kids, but at the cost of living in (again, at least) near-poverty? And facing parents with this is of course how the plutocrats/kleptocrats that still pretty much run things want it.

If gains in this area are made, and I think at least some likely will be, it will be helpful to keep letting the beneficiaries know that they are entirely the result of having progressive DFL majorities in the legislature. And that the way to help maintain that is for them to vote for progressive DFLers, in every election that comes along. Otherwise it could certainly disappear, the way the expanded federal child tax credit has.

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