Klobuchar, Capito Introduce Legislation to Preserve Childcare Savings Lost During Coronavirus Pandemic
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), along with Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), introduced the COVID-19 Dependent Care Flexible Spending Arrangement Rollover Act, which will prevent families from losing funds for child care services that go unused because of the coronavirus pandemic. Dependent care assistance plans (DCAPs) allow working parents to set aside pre-tax income to cover costs of child care, but the tax benefit does not roll over to the next calendar year if not used. Many childcare providers were closed for months during the coronavirus pandemic.
The bill serves as the Senate companion to the COVID-19 Dependent Care Flexible Spending Arrangement Rollover Act of 2020, previously introduced by Representatives Cindy Axne (D-IA) and Pete Stauber (R-MN).
"Child care providers across the country have had to close their doors as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and without action, the funds families previously set aside to pay for their services could be lost by the end of the year," Klobuchar said. "Allowing unspent childcare assistance plans to roll over to next year is a commonsense solution to ensure that parents and families aren't needlessly penalized during this public health crisis."
"This is a common-sense bill that ensures families aren't unfairly penalized because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced child care centers to close," Capito said. "Securing child care so people can go back to work is a major part of our country's economic recovery, and we should help those with DCAPs transition back to work more easily with this saving rollover."
"As the coronavirus pandemic has forced child care centers to keep their doors closed, parents are caring for their children at home or finding alternative solutions within their communities. With no child care to pay for, those families who have saved thousands of dollars in dependent care assistance plans are at risk of losing that unused money at the end of the year," said Sarah Rittling, Executive Director of the First Five Years Fund. "Now more than ever, Congress must be focused on providing relief for working families. We are pleased to see Senator Klobuchar and Senator Capito working together with their colleagues in the House of Representatives on a bipartisan proposal that ensures parents can rollover their hard earned child care dollars to next year and not be penalized for a national crisis outside their control. This pandemic drastically changed every aspect of our lives, and this common sense legislation will give parents one less thing to worry about as we recover from this pandemic and return to normalcy."