The Center for Hunger-Free Communities

Solutions Based on Science and the Human Experience

“My favorite saying is ‘don’t give up five minutes before the miracle’... Don’t give up cause when life is on your shoulders and has you weighing down and like you just feel like giving up. You really do, but you just keep on going... [After graduating,] I now work in one of the units in the hospital. And I like it so much better there. You learn so much because you’re around the doctors and the nurses and taking care of the patient when they’re in the hospital. I like going to work now. I’m grateful to my employer for not judging me for my past.”

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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