Every day our members care for children while their parents go to work. Over the past few years, this industry has seen cuts at the Federal and state level that have led to growing wait lists and a shrinking workforce during a time when Americans are trying to get back to work. Through the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), states receive Federal funds to subsidize child care for working parents struggling to make ends meet in this difficult economy. States such as California, Illinois, and Maryland have wait lists with tens of thousands of parents who need a safe place for their kids during the workday. We have all heard stories about parents needing to leave their children unsupervised because they cannot afford child care but must work to support their families.
If the automatic cuts take effect in January, it will mean millions of further cuts to an already underfunded and understaffed industry. For a state like California, it would mean $21 million in cuts to the CCDBG, for Illinois it would mean $7 million in cuts. For family of four with one child in child care earning $24,000 per year, the loss of a subsidy could mean the equivalent of a 30% cut in a total family income. These cuts would mean more parents having to make difficult choices about caring for their children while they are at work. It is wrong to cut Federal support for working parents at a time when Americans are eager to get back to work.