Bustos works to help Illinois families afford child care

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) announced her support for a bipartisan effort to make child care more affordable for working families, the Child and Dependent Care FSA Enhancement Act. This bill would increase the amount of pre-tax money that a family can put into a flexible spending account (FSA) to pay for child care.

“Child care is a major expense for working women and families across Illinois,” said Congresswoman Bustos. “In Illinois, the average annual cost of child care is more than half the median annual income for a single mother. I support this bipartisan effort to help Illinois families pay for the quality, affordable care all our children deserve.”

The Child and Dependent Care FSA Enhancement Act, introduced on a bipartisan basis last month by Congresswomen Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09) and Renee Ellmers (NC-02) in the House and Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) in the Senate, would increase the amount of pre-tax dollars families can put into child and dependent care flexible spending account (FSA’s) from $5,000 to $7,500. It would also index that FSA cap to inflation to keep up with the rising costs of care.

The average cost of child care in Illinois is $12,697 annually.

Bustos is a steadfast advocate for working women and families. In addition to advocating for affordable child care, Bustos is a strong supporter of pay equity, making the minimum wage a livable wage and ensuring employees have the ability to take paid sick days. These are all issues that disproportionately impact working women. Last year, she authored a report on the state of working women in Northwest and Central Illinois.