Kentuckians lay out economic concerns about cuts to child care assistance cuts

05/21/2013 05:23 PM

Child advocates and day care center owners said at a public hearing in Frankfort Tuesday that the state is making a catastrophic decision to cuts to the child care assistance program, which provides day care assistance for low income parents, and the Kinship Care program.

The Kinship Care program provides a $300 monthly stipend to family members who serve as guardians for abused and neglected children.

It’s projected that the cuts will help the Cabinet for Health and Family Services fix a projected $86.6 million shortfall in the budget for the Department of Community Based Services.

Beginning July 1, the income requirements for parents in the Child Care Assistance Program will change from 150 percent below the poverty level- $33,075 for a family of four to 100 percent below the poverty level- $22,050 for a family of four.

Kristin Tipton, Director of Southside Christian Care in Shively, predicts that the cuts will have a domino effect impacting kids, parents, grandparents and child care workers.

“I’ve had to turn parents away and say its going to be $125 (a week) for your newborn to come with us,” Tipton said.

William Newman of Louisville, who is raising his four grandchildren, has been helped not only by the child care assistance program, but the kinship care program as well.

Newman said that if both programs wouldn’t be available to him, he would be facing an uncertain future.

Regarding day care assistance, Newman said, “if I lose that, I’ll have to quit my job. If they take away the kinship care, I’ll definitely have to quit my job”

Newman predicts that he would probably have to go on welfare which, he says, would cost tax payers more money in the long run.

Janet Masterson of Community Coordinated Child Care, is concerned about the long term consequences of the cuts.

“Thousands of children and families will be denied the proven poverty fighting solution of quality child care,” said Masterson.

Currently, there is a moratorium on applications to the child care assistance program and any new money to the kinship care program until June 30, 2014.

Those who currently receive the kinship care stipend will continue to do so until the child turns 18 or they drop out of the program.


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