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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Senator Bob Casey introduces two new bills to make child care more affordable.

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“Every child in this country is born with a light inside them,” said Casey.

But Senator Bob Casey says making sure those children live up to their full potential starts with making sure they have the best early child care.

Unfortunately, the cost is sometimes too much to handle for many middle-class families.

“Too many families are having to make the decision based upon price only, or cost only, and not the quality of the care,” said Casey.

At Riverview Children’s Center in Verona on Friday, the Senator outlines two new bills to make child care more affordable for working families.

Casey is a co-sponsor on the Child Care For Working Families Act.

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“This bill would provide direct financial assistance to working parents to help them pay for child care and early learning, ensuring that no parent would pay more than seven percent of their household income for child care if they earn less than 150 percent of the state’s median income,” said Casey.

In Pennsylvania, that is roughly $75,00 to $85,000.

“Guess what the reality is today in Pennsylvania?” asked Casey, “Single mom, center-based care for an infant. They’re paying as much as half of their income, 56 percent of their income on childcare. That’s unacceptable.”

Casey is the main sponsor on the second bill, which would enhance the current child and dependent care tax credit, increasing the maximum of the credit from roughly $1,000 to $3,000.

“We’ve got a lot of folks who are maybe close to middle class. They take advantage of the credit and that’s good. It helps, but if it’s not refundable, they don’t get money in their pocket. They can’t reduce their childcare costs enough.”

Casey says we will not have the workforce we need and will not be able to compete in the world if we do not invest in early childcare and learning.

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“This is America! We can do better than we’re doing when it comes to our children.”