Nebraska's child care professionals may take advantage of the School Readiness Tax Credit Act this year, and the time to begin is now. State personnel at the Departments of Education and Revenue need time to process the necessary forms child care providers will submit with their 2021 tax returns.

The program offers two types of credits:

A refundable tax credit is available to child care staff members and self-employed child care professionals (such as family home providers). To qualify for the refundable credit, providers must have been employed for at least six months at a child care program participating in Step Up to Quality, Nebraska's child care quality rating and improvement system. Qualifying providers may receive one of four levels of credit ranging from $540 to $1,620, based on their professional credentials and training.

A non-refundable tax credit is available to child care programs that are rated Step 3 or higher in Step Up to Quality and who serve children through Nebraska's Child Care Subsidy program. Credit amounts increase with Step ratings, and qualifying programs may receive between $250 and $750 in non-refundable credits per subsidy-eligible child served.

FFN is working with State Senator John Stinner on an interim study looking at the program and how it currently functions. This study will inform potential development of legislation during the 2022 legislative session to reauthorize and improve the program so providers will continue to receive these important financial benefits.