Child Care Subsidies – Connecticut

State cuts into child-care subsidies, By Rob Ryser, July 9, 2017, Danbury News Times: “State cuts to a program that helps needy families afford child care has left 6,500 kids across Connecticut without a quality place to go while their parents are working. Child care subsidies for 235 children have been dropped in greater Danbury since cuts to the Care 4 Kids program began in August. Advocates say the result will be more children who are less prepared for kindergarten, and more parents who stop working and apply for government assistance, because they cannot afford child care…”

Early Childhood Education

How child care enriches mothers, and especially the sons they raise, By Claire Cain Miller, April 20, 2017, New York Times: “As many American parents know, hiring care for young children during the workday is punishingly expensive, costing the typical family about a third of its income. Helping parents pay for that care would be expensive for society, too. Yet recent studies show that of any policy aimed to help struggling families, aid for high-quality care has the biggest economic payoff for parents and their children — and even their grandchildren. It has the biggest positive effect on women’s employment and pay. It’s especially helpful for low-income families, because it can propel generations of children toward increased earnings, better jobs, improved health, more education and decreased criminal activity as adults…”

Welfare Reform – Wisconsin

Scott Walker: Parents should work 80 hours per month to get food stamps, By Molly Beck, January 24, 2017, Wisconsin State Journal: “Gov. Scott Walker wants parents who receive food stamps to work at least 80 hours per month to continue to receive full benefits.  Walker made the announcement Monday in appearances around the state promoting changes dubbed ‘Wisconsin Works for Everyone’ that he plans to make to the state’s welfare programs.  One component would require parents with school-age children living at home to work to continue to receive full benefits through the state’s food stamp program known as FoodShare…”

Child Care Subsidies – California

For some workers, pay raise comes with loss of cheap child care, By Natalie Kitroeff, January 6, 2017, Los Angeles Times: “When the minimum wage in California rose to $10.50 an hour Jan. 1, more than a million people got a raise. But for an untold number of families across the state, that pay bump could price them out of child care.  This year, for the first time, two parents working full time at minimum wage jobs, with one child, will be considered too well off to qualify for state subsidies for day care and preschool. It’s been 10 years since the state set the threshold for who is poor enough to get the benefit, which is pegged to 2005 income levels…”

Child Care Subsidies – Maryland

Wealthy Maryland is poor in child-care subsidies, By Josh Hicks, December 22, 2016, Washington Post: “A group of Maryland lawmakers is pushing Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and the General Assembly to increase financial assistance for families struggling to cover child-care costs, noting that the state ranks among the least generous in the nation for such aid.  Advocates say state and federal funding levels for child-care subsidies are too low, forcing Maryland to restrict how many low-income families qualify for vouchers and greatly limiting which day-care centers those families can afford.  Adding to the financial pressure are new federal regulations that say states must subsidize child care at rates that allow parents to enroll their children in higher-priced programs, rather than only the cheapest…”

Child Care Subsidies

Child care subsidies, vital for many workers, are dwindling, By Sophie Quinton, December 9, 2016, Stateline: “Before she heads to her shift at a nursing home in New Haven, Connecticut, every morning, nursing assistant Elisha LaRose drops her 4-year-old son off at a day care center. She’s grateful he’ll be in a safe, educational environment all day. LaRose, 30, is a single mother and could never afford to send her son to day care without a child care subsidy. The subsidy, a mix of federal and state money (combined with a separate Connecticut program), cuts her weekly day care costs to $48. Without the help, she said, she’d probably have to leave her son with an unlicensed baby sitter.  In many states, subsidies may be about to get scarcer…”

Child Care Subsidies – Connecticut

Child care subsidy saved for working parents in Care4Kids; most new families barred, By Josh Covner, November 29, 2016, Hartford Courant: “Working families who now receive a child care subsidy that helps parents keep their jobs can remain in Care4Kids under new state actions that cut a $6.1 million program-threatening deficit by more than half.  By closing Care4Kids to additional groups of new applicants, and applying extra money left over in a separate preschool program, the state can now renew subsidies for another year for all enrolled parents, officials said Tuesday…”

Child Care Subsidies – Connecticut

Child care subsidy for thousands of state’s working poor in danger, By Josh Kovner, November 16, 2016, Hartford Courant: “Elisha Larose takes home about $350 per week as a certified nurse’s aide in New Haven. Between rent, food, car insurance, medical bills, and utilities, the money is stretched thin for her and her 4-year-old son, Torraye.  She is making it, she says, with careful budgeting and the help of a child-care subsidy for working parents. She pays $48 per week for a pre-school center for Torraye that actually costs up to $297 a week.  But that subsidy is in jeopardy. It is provided through a program called Care4Kids that is $5.4 million in the red. The state has already closed the program to new applicants, and people whose year-long subsidy expires in the coming winter and spring may not be renewed…”

State TANF Spending

How are states using welfare funding? Often, not to help people work, By J.B. Wogan, October 26, 2016, Governing: “When Congress reformed the nation’s welfare program 20 years ago, it set a new condition for eligibility: Recipients must have a job or be searching for one. But the 1996 reforms also gave states freedom to decide how to spend their federal welfare funding. As a result, many aren’t spending it on programs that directly help people find employment.  Last year, on average, states used less than 10 percent of welfare funding for work-related services, such as subsidized employment, job training, job search assistance and transportation vouchers…”

Child Care Subsidies – Louisiana

The state-budget cuts trapping poor parents, By Della Hasselle, September 29, 2016, The Atlantic: “Over the summer, Kinsley, then 19 months, was just starting to develop her vocabulary. Sometimes her mom, Christian Gobert, laughed about it, because the word Kinsley knew best was ‘no.’  But jokes aside, the New Orleans mother worries about her child’s language development, which she says is slower than some of her daughter’s peers…”

Child Care Workers

Child care expansion takes a toll on poorly paid workers, By Patricia Cohen, July 12, 2016, New York Times: “Carmella Salinas has worked steadily for 14 years as an early-childhood-education teacher, taking care of 4- and 5-year-olds at the nonprofit Family Learning Center in the hardscrabble community of Española, just north of Santa Fe, N.M. Even so, she rarely earns enough to cover all her bills, and has more than once received a disconnection letter from the water, gas or electric company. A few months ago, she arrived home with her 10-year-old son, Aaron, to find the electricity shut off.  ‘But Mom,’ she recalled Aaron saying, ‘don’t they know it’s your birthday?’  While the scramble to find affordable child care has drawn a lot of attention, prompting President Obama to label it ‘a must-have’ economic priority, the struggles of the workers — mostly women — who provide that care have not…”

Child Care Subsidies – Oklahoma

DHS lifts freeze on child-care subsidies, By Ginnie Graham, July 1, 2016, Tulsa World: “After reviewing next year’s budget, officials at the Oklahoma Department of Human Services have decided to lift the freeze on child-care subsidies starting Friday. The original date to resume applications was to be Aug. 15, but DHS Director Ed Lake said many schools districts are opening enrollment earlier and subsidies will be needed.  As reported in the Tulsa World on Tuesday, the program had stopped taking new clients after the worsening state revenue failure showed it would run out of money. It is funded through a combination of the federal Child Care Development grant and state matching funds…”

Affordable Child Care

Child care cost, availability big hurdle for area workers, By Emilie Eaton and Fatima Hussein, May 9, 2016, Cincinnati Enquirer: “Half of Bobbie Hedrick’s salary goes towards paying for daycare.  ‘As a single parent, I can attest to how difficult it is to make ends meet with the high costs (of child care),’ she said.The Warsaw, Kentucky resident said she spends roughly $750 a month just to make sure her two kids have quality supervision while she is at work.  The cost and availability of child care doesn’t affect only those with children in daycare. It’s one of two key reasons why all kinds of companies across the Cincinnati region are having a hard time finding the right candidates to fill the area’s 25,000 unfilled jobs…”

Child Care Subsidies – Massachusetts

Computer woes delay child-care subsidies, By Stephanie Ebbert, November 20, 2015, Boston Globe: “About 1,600 low-income children remain stuck on a waiting list for subsidized child care because a computer system built by the state government has been beset by problems for four months.  The Department of Early Education and Care launched the new, $5.05-million system on July 1, despite concerns about its readiness raised by the child-care providers who rely on it to get paid…”

Child Care Subsidies – Illinois

Money for Illinois child care subsidies is running dry, By Nancy Cambria, February 25, 2015, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “For more than two decades, the Leslie Bates Davis Neighborhood House’s early childhood center has beat back the effects of poverty on young children in this ailing city.  The center operates in a once abandoned grocery store amid boarded-up businesses and crumbling sidewalks with the promise of the Gateway Arch in view from its parking lot.  With the help of federal and state funds as well as fundraising, it has grown in size, quality and staffing to host a Head Start program and earn national accreditation.  It serves nearly 150 children from some of the nation’s poorest households — with parents who count on the center to provide more than mere baby-sitting.  ‘They know how important it is their children get early education so they are ready for school,’ said Stephanie Rhodes, a vice president with Leslie Bates Davis in charge of child care.  As of this month, however, all of the progress made by the center and many others in Illinois is at risk…”

Child Care Subsidies – Oregon

New federal child care rules, meant to help families, could also harm them, says Oregon audit, By Amy Wang, January 5, 2014, The Oregonian: “As Oregon works to meet new federal rules meant to expand access to child care and improve its educational quality, the Oregon Secretary of State’s office and others are raising concerns that the families who most need stable and affordable child care could lose it as a result of those same rules. The rules are part of the recently reauthorized federal Child Care and Development Block Grant Act, which helps fund child care subsidies for lower-income families…”

Child Care Subsidies

Child care subsidies for low-income parents approved after years of cuts, By Diana Dillaber Murray, November 19, 2014, Oakland Daily Tribune: “For the first time in 18 years, Congress has approved funding to help ensure parents of some of the 11 million of the youngest children in low-income working families can afford child care. Congress reauthorized the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act 2014 Tuesday in a bipartisan vote. About 6 million children of the 11 million children in child care are babies and toddlers…”

Child Care Subsidies – Missouri

Participation in subsidized child care drops in Missouri, By Nancy Cambria, November 17, 2014, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “In the span of a year, Missouri lost more children than any other state from a federal program that helps working parents pay for child care. The figures, from an October survey by the Center for Law and Social Policy, or CLASP, show enrollment has dropped by 12,300 children statewide — more than a quarter of the net loss of enrollment nationwide. The report notes that in 2013 participation in the child care subsidy program hit a 15-year low despite a rise in child poverty and stagnant wages in service jobs typically filled by the poor. Last year about 1.5 million children used the subsidy per month versus a program high of 1.8 million per month in 2006…”

Child Care Subsidies – Missouri

Missouri’s child care subsidies are going to illegal day cares, By Nancy Cambria, August 16, 2014, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “When state regulators acted on a tip last year that an unlicensed home day care in the West End neighborhood of St. Louis was illegal, they found the provider watching 15 children. Of the 15 in her care, nine were related to the caregiver and six were not, state records show. Missouri law allows unlicensed providers to serve an unlimited number of related children, including nieces, nephews and grandchildren. But it limits unrelated children to four. So the regulators found the provider was over the limit by two kids — and running an illegal day care. Yet, records show, that didn’t stop the state of Missouri from paying her $1,103 in child care subsidies that month for six children. Or to continue paying her an average $807 in subsidies every month since…”

Child Care Subsidies – North Carolina

State budget could cost thousands child-care subsidies, By Emma Baccellieri, July 11, 2014, Charlotte Observer: “Hundreds of Charlotte children – and thousands across the state – could lose their after-school care when the state budget is approved. In an attempt to give higher priority to North Carolina’s youngest and poorest children, both the House and the Senate budgets include changes to how the state determines eligibility for child care subsidies. But while the proposed system would open up space for disadvantaged children under the age of 5, it would remove funding for nearly 12,000 school-age children – leaving many families in a difficult position…”