No one likes a waiting list.
But there is one waiting list the state can least afford.
Currently there are more than 8,000 children whose parents want to be in the
work force. Because there is a waiting list for subsidies for child care,
families who are eligible for this help and who would otherwise move towards
economic independence through work are on hold until a subsidized child care
spot becomes available.
Child care is a basic necessity which thousands of working families rely on,
as they work toward self-sufficiency. Due to state and federal cutbacks, the
child care subsidy program in Alabama has suffered tremendously.
Lack of state funding also adversely affects child care standards. When
Alabama requires child care providers to increase staff-to-child ratios and
passes other new regulations to ensure child care quality, the state fails to
fund the cost of implementing these changes. As a consequence, new regulations
force out quality care by increasing costs without providing additional support
through the subsidy program. Families often turn to less expensive unregulated
child care programs.
VOICES’ strongly supports increased state funding of subsidized child care.
State dollars will allow Alabama to access all federal monies available, reduce
the number of children on the waiting list, and provide more quality care.
Checklist for selecting Child Care
2008 Child Care in Alabama Fact Sheet
GRCMA Early Childhood Directions
National Women’s Law
Center for Law
and Social Policy