Legislation Aimed at Strengthening Child Care Access for Oklahoma Families Wins Unanimous Approval in the House
OKLAHOMA CITY –Legislation aimed at easing the burden Oklahoma families face accessing childcare in order to stay in the workforce, easily passed off the House Floor on Tuesday with unanimous support from both parties.
HB 2451, authored by Rep. Suzanne Schreiber, D-Tulsa, takes aim at the lack of childcare centers and the workforce shortage facing the industry by creating tax incentives to help grow the industry and provide much needed incentives for childcare workers across the state.
Once signed into law, the legislation will provide an annual $500 tax credit for qualified childcare workers and a tax incentive up to $30,000 annually for employers who provide a childcare subsidy for their employees and a tax incentive up to $45,000 for employers to develop or build a childcare facility for employees.
HB 2542, authored by Rep. Schreiber, also addresses the need for accessible childcare.
Rep. Schreiber said HB 2542 strengthens family home childcare’s ability to do business by cutting red tap for these small business owners and ensuring they can serve at their licensed capacity.
“Addressing access to childcare in this way will ensure the growth and sustainability of this important sector of Oklahoma’s economy, and at the same time, it sends a message to Oklahoma families that we are working for common sense solutions to the real problems they face staying in the workforce.” Rep. Schreiber said. “Often the biggest barrier for Oklahomans to stay in the workforce is a lack of consistent and affordable childcare. Breaking down those barriers serves our employers too. When we strengthen the childcare industry, we strengthen all industries. "
Schreiber said she is encouraged by the bi-partisan support for the legislation and the excitement being generated with stakeholders across the state.
“I came to this capitol building looking to be a problem solver for the issues that Oklahomans care about the most,” she said. “Removing barriers for not only Oklahoma businesses, but also for the Oklahoma families who rely on consistent and quality childcare, is a common-sense solution that I’m proud to be a part of in my first legislative session.”
Both HB 2451 and HB 2542 now move to the Senate for consideration.