As many as 130,000 Minnesota families could receive state help to reduce the cost of child care and dependent care for the elderly under a proposal by Gov. Mark Dayton unveiled Tuesday.

Dayton, the two-term DFL governor, said the initiative would provide direct tax relief that could reduce the cost of child care and dependent care for working families.

"Rising childcare costs have put hard financial strains on many Minnesota families, making it increasingly difficult for working parents to hold their jobs while assuring quality care for their children," Dayton said in a statement. "My Child Care Tax Credit helps to provide Minnesota families with options -- so they don't have to choose between working and caring for their families."

The proposal would provide about $100 million direct tax relief. Under Dayton's plan, the average family would receive $481; the maximum benefit would be $2,100 for eligibile families.

Photo: Gov. Mark Dayton gives his inaugural address earlier this month at the Landmark Center in St. Paul. (Leila Navidi/Star Tribune)

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