These are challenging times for everyone, but especially for those who have or care for children. And, child care funding is a complex topic. Just keeping up with licensing regulations and funding terms and conditions is difficult - add in all of the various needs of families in Humboldt County and it's crazy making.
I have had the opportunity to experience these issues from a variety of vantage points - as a family child care provider in Arcata for eleven years, as a parent of two toddlers (one with special needs), as a community college faculty and as a children's center administrator. When I was a parent - a single mother with four children, two in need of child care - I recieved support to pay for my child care and paid a copay to the provider and paid a copay to the subsidizing agency. That particular year I earned $20,000 and paid $10,000 in child care. I alternated paying my PGE and my car payment. It was a crazy time and I appreciated all of the people who helped me through it.
At the end of the day we need to decide what is important to our community, and we need to make choices in funding and licensing and community planning that reflect those choices. I choose to value the experiences of young children and I believe that all families should have access to high quality child care that they can afford. I also choose to honor those who care for young children and I believe that they should earn salaries that reflect their experience, education and expertise. The challenge is how do we find the resources - money, training, community will - so that those who care for and have young children do not feel like they are constantly choosing between providing for their families and keeping them safe in high quality child care.
Thank you to the Journal and all of the experts who shared their knowledge and their lives in this article - especially Carissa Bowser-Smith who so transparently shared her struggles to stay in business. And thank you to those of you who will read and consider these issues. The currently proposed budget is calling for a reduction in the overall funding for child care and restricting families to a lower income than currently from receiving subsidies. There are special elections planned for June - please stay informed of how these developments will impact programs that matter to you and your family.
In Print This Week:
Mar 6, 2014
vol XXV issue 10
The Faces of Obamacare
The North Coast Journal Weekly
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