Childcare subsidy cuts hurt working women and families

January 18, 2012 | Alex Stone

Economic trends show Washington women and families are falling behind in the economy, and repeated cuts to state childcare assistance is compounding the pain – especially for single mothers.

Washington has a high percentage of parents in the workforce – including 70% of single mothers – so it comes as no surprise that affordable childcare is critical to family economy security. But budget cuts are making childcare less affordable for working families, and more parents are struggling to balance work and parenthood.

Working Connections Child Care is Washington’s childcare subsidy program, helping lower-income working parents pay for childcare while staying in the workforce. But state budget shortfalls have raised co-pays, limited eligibility, and capped enrollments – effectively kicking thousands of Washington families off the subsidy.

For some families, losing the subsidy will mean parents who can no longer afford childcare will be forced to quit their jobs to take care of their children, or leave children in unsafe situations – choices no parent should have to make.

These subsidy cuts put more pressure on families already struggling to get by on lower wages and with fewer benefits, especially single parents. We shouldn’t let working families and children fall behind while special tax breaks remain firmly entrenched for Wall Street banks and multi-billion dollar corporations. Workers, families and children are Washington’s biggest asset, and it’s time to prioritize them.

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Posted in State Economy

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