For parents to have the support of the larger community is both a Jewish tradition and a universal need. That support should include families where children are cared for at home as well as those where parents pay for childcare.
The childcare tax credit the president recently proposed to Congress to assist working and middle-class families is not evenhanded when it comes to these two approaches. Under the White House plan, a couple with two young children who says to the government, “With a $6,000 tax break we might be able to swing having a parent stay home” would be told, “Sorry, but if you both go to work we’ll give you that $6,000 toward childcare.”
The proposed tax relief should be extended equally to all families, those stretching to make ends meet with a stay-at-home parent and those stretching to cover childcare costs. I have started a petition at https://petitions.whitehouse.gov asking the administration to “offer equal benefits to stay-at-home parents when proposing childcare credits.” Those who wish to sign can use the “filter by issue” or “search” functions to locate the petition.
—Elizabeth S. Bernstein, Bisbee