I have been working with children for over 30 years. I have seen State budget issues come and go. For the past 5 years or so the climate of family child care has seriously gone downhill. Not only has the money part gotten impossible for family's and providers, causing major problems in the workforce of our county but the quality standards have just been gutted again with Community Care Licensing and Changing Tides funding cuts. Ever more regulations and laws with no provisions to put them into place. More work for agencies with even less people to do the required work.
In the last year I have seen a shift from parents working full time to working part time, many being forced to accept reduction in hours from their jobs. I have gone from 10 kids to 5.5 in 2 months. Basically cutting my income in half. Most of my clients have been Private Pay, meaning parents pay full child care costs out of pocket with no assistance from the State. Now some have asked for help only to find out that it is not there for them. They apologize about having to cut hours their kids are in my program but at the same time they want more services from my program. It is a big 'Catch 22'. How can I offer more services when I can only afford basic needs? I sacrifice my family and personal needs to make up the difference. I wonder how long I am going to be able to do that before I too will be faced with closing my Quality preschool program?
I am considering what my options are to stay in this field. I have a B.A. degree, a teaching credential, and serious experience after 30 years. All the education and training I have accomplished meaning nothing now? The State is sending children back to the dark ages and that is simply NOT OK!
In Print This Week:
Dec 12, 2013
vol XXIV issue 50
The North Coast Journal Weekly
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