Missouri has been dealing with a workforce shortage. Lack of access to affordable childcare has been cited as a major part of the problem.

The state House of Representatives has passed a bill that is meant to help address what the bill sponsor calls “a childcare crisis.” State Rep. Brenda Shields, R-St. Joseph, said at least 51% of Missouri lacks access to quality childcare.

How has the problem affected the state’s economy? The Missouri Chamber of Commerce says in 2021, the state’s economy missed out on $1.3 billion due to a lack of access to childcare.

Shields is proposing tax credits for childcare providers, donors to daycare centers, and businesses who help to cover the childcare costs of their employees.

Under her bill, businesses who help to cover the childcare costs of their employees would get a tax credit totaling up to 75% of the contribution. Her bill would also let providers claim a tax credit up to 30% of their expenses and they could keep the withholding tax of their employees.

The state could provide up to $20 million annually for each of these types of proposed tax credits. If the maximum amount of tax credits allowed annually is authorized, the maximum amount would be increased by 15%, provided that the increases of tax credits are reserved for contributions made to childcare sites located in a childcare desert.

House Bill 870 heads to the Senate for further review.

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