Missouri shouldn't cut child care funds
Did you know that Missouri is currently in a race straight to the bottom in terms of supporting working families? The Senate Appropriations Committee recently endorsed a plan to cut child care programs by almost $30 million. This proposed cut would make Missouri last in the country for supporting child care.
The cuts look like this:
$16 million cut from child care assistance: eligibility would be cut to 103 percent of federal poverty level.
$13 million cut from grants to create new spaces for infants and toddlers and from contracts to provide training and coaching that increase the quality of care.
What does this mean for our state?
This would eliminate child care assistance for 6,190 children. Working and single-parent families would suffer most and would face difficult decisions that could involve quitting their jobs because they canít afford to pay for child care.
Child care providers will lose out on funding to assist them with creating child care slots within child care programs for our infant and toddler population. Any family knows that infant toddler openings are the most challenging to find even with the current funding. Take away this funding and openings could be almost nonexistent in many towns, making it nearly impossible for parents to work.
Training and coaching for child care programs will take a major hit, if not eliminated completely. Child care providers depend on early childhood experts to come into their facilities to assist them with basic training like safe sleep practices, health and safety issues, and special assistance for child care programs that want to meet excellence standards though accreditation.
Take away these services and providers must navigate the child care profession on their own. We want the individuals in our community that care for our children to have the training and support they need and deserve.
The proposed budget cuts will be going to the Senate floor for debate next week. Please take time to call your state senator and tell them:
Do not cut child care assistance funding.
Child care assistance keeps families working.
Child care training and coaching helps provide a safe place for children while parents work or go to school.
Missouri is already 49th in the country when it comes to providing child care assistance. Do not put Missouri at the bottom.
If you donít know your state senatorís contact information, visit http://www.senate.mo.gov to access a legislator look-up tool. Enter your zip code and you have all the information you need.
This is an important issue that canít be ignored. Every voice counts. Please let yours be heard.
21 Aprtil 2012