Monday, June 1, 2009

A Day Care Dilemma

Little Bloomers ChildcareA recent article in the Tribune Democrat notes that the economy is showing itself in reduced enrollment figures for many of Pennsylvania’s registered day care facilities. The average daily rate for day care can range from $20 to $26, or between $400 and $520 per month per child.

With 1 in 5 households living with inadequate incomes, as shown in PathWays PA’s publication Overlooked and Undercounted Study, families are forced to reevaluate their childcare options by taking a closer look at alternatives. Some parents turn to a neighbor or relative, while others are taking advantage of free preschool services, where it is offered.

Meanwhile, day care facilities have also seen a decrease in subsidized care. Some local providers have reported losing 30 percent to 40 percent of their subsidized care in recent months. According to Public Citizens for Children Youth, in Pennsylvania there is a waiting list of over 15,000 people who are eligible for, but not receiving subsidized child care. Many people on the wait list will have to go without assistance for at least four to six months.

There is a substantial need for more subsidized child care and for the amount paid by the state to be reevaluated. Without affordable and safe child care, parents will be unable to find or keep jobs in order to support their families.

Please write your state legislators today and ask them to support (and increase) the state child care subsidy!

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