The Center for Hunger-Free Communities

Solutions Based on Science and the Human Experience

Soledad is 2 years old. Her father is spending time with her, reading to her. He’s showing her how much he loves her. It’s good to read to your children because it helps with their learning. Law makers need to know that it’s healthier to help out a family and help them make their bills—so families don’t split up because they are tired of scraping and scrubbing pennies together. If it gets too rough, some families split. Because, if they split, they’d be more eligible for programs like food stamps. They shouldn’t have to do that for the simple fact to pay the bills, to get food on the table and to keep the roof over the family’s head. 

Child Care Assistance

Child care assistance is available for families receiving TANF, along with other low-income working families.  In Pennsylvania, Child Care Information Services (CCIS) helps parents find and pay for quality child care while they are receiving TANF and attending a job, getting an education.  Parents have the right to choose the type of care their children receive (i.e. child care center, pre-school, or private babysitter).  For income-eligible families not receiving TANF, CCIS maintains a waiting list.  When this system works efficiently, child care assistance allows parents of young children to work and support their families without their income being drained by the high cost of child care.

Before the recent economic recession, nearly 40% of Pennsylvania’s children ages 0-5 were low-income, yet less than 25% of these children received child care subsidies. Southeastern Pennsylvania families eligible for child care subsidies wait an average of 12 months on waiting lists before receiving subsidy.

Current Issue

The recent state budget disproportionately cut child care subsidies, reducing the budget by 11.5 percent.  Further efforts to raise co-payments and restrict working families’ eligibility for child care subsidies will have negative consequences for Pennsylvania’s children and economy.

 

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