Beginning this month, maximum income requirements for some child care services in Kentucky will become more restrictive, with the cutoff for a family of four dropping from $33,000 to just $22,000 to enroll in the state’s Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP).
The changes, which took effect July 1, stem from a projected $86 million Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) budget shortfall. To save money, the DCBS elected to tighten CCAP standards, decreasing the household income threshold from 150 percent of the poverty level to 100 percent.
With many families losing state assistance, Ceatrice O’Neal, a West Louisville daycare operator, told WDRB.com that her enrollment numbers have dropped.
“Even if we reduced the price for parents, how are we going to make a living?” she said. “I don’t even know if a year from now I’ll even be in business, because without kids how do you run a daycare?”
Terry Brooks, Kentucky Youth Advocates executive director, said that currently, a quarter of Kentucky’s children live in poverty. With the CCAP funding slashed, he believes the state will ultimately spend more money on parents, who may opt for unemployment benefits instead of working to pay for increased child care services costs.
“Suddenly we have created a situation where there is strong incentive for folks who are low income working families now to become unemployed families,” he told WDRB. “No state in the country supports families with less money than Kentucky.”
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