by Linda Asato, California Child Care Resource & Referral Network
The governor’s budget proposal would make Shana ineligible for child care, and if she had to pay for the full cost of care herself, she would be short $750 a month. What are her choices: Quit her job and go on welfare? Try to work while homeless with a 4‐year old child?
Think about it. What choice would you make?
The governor’s budget proposal would cut funding for child care by over 20 percent, or $452 million. That would mean a cut of over 40 percent since 2008, or nearly $1 billion. There has already been a loss of over 100,000 child care slots for low‐income parents since 2008, and the governor’s proposal for 2012‐13 proposes nearly 30,000 more child care slots be eliminated.
Nearly one out of four California children lives in poverty, and many families continue to face economic uncertainty in the aftermath of the 2008 recession. Research shows that parents with access to child care are more likely to be employed and have higher earnings than parents who lack such assistance, and this is especially true for single mothers.
Disinvestment in child care hurts us all. Caught in the rip tide are employers disrupted by workers who won’t have reliable care, low to moderate income working parents who need affordable care, and child care providers who need a stream of customers to keep their small businesses afloat.
For more information about the impacts of the governor’s child care cuts, visit the California Child Care Resource & Referral Network, www.rrnetwork.org.
Linda Asato is executive director of the California Child Care Resource & Referral Network, www.rrnetwork.org. She can be reached through her executive assistant, Kate Whittaker, at firstname.lastname@example.org.