The Center for Hunger-Free Communities

Solutions Based on Science and the Human Experience

“We used to have a recreational center, and after the kids would get off of school the police officers would watch over the children. They don’t have it anymore. They shut it down. You notice there are more kids on the street, more kids who don’t have anywhere else to go. If you open the recreation centers up right after school, the parents might still be able to work. That’s what I did until my mother got off work. My mom couldn’t afford camps so I had to do everything that was free. They need to bring back way more programs for the youth.”

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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