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Child Care: Good News & Bad News

child care blocks rounded cornersThere’s good news and bad news for Arizona’s working families looking for strong, affordable child care. Recently, the state sent letters to every qualified family who was on the waiting list for child care vouchers, offering them a chance to come in and update their applications and receive a voucher to help them pay for the child care that works for them. Clearing the waiting list to bring in more children happened thanks to the united efforts of so many Arizonans last year that convinced the state legislature to appropriate more funding for child safety, including $4 million for child care vouchers.

An upward trend in children participating in child care vouchers prevents conditions of child neglect and helps slow the growth in cases at our new Department of Child Safety. The bad news is that this trend might move into reverse. Governor Ducey’s new budget proposal zeroes out the $4 million in state funding. While it leaves the current vouchers in place thanks to federal dollars, it’s a budget mistake that would leave more children in unstable and unsafe situations. We will call on the Governor and lawmakers to correct this mistake and keep the current funding.

These budget issues highlight just a few of the problems parents and communities have in assuring that all children have access to safe, quality child care. Many people ask, “What can I do?”  To learn more about the issues of early childhood, child care and ways families and communities can make a difference, join us tomorrow for a screening of a new film about child care and the future of our nation. The events include an expert panel discussion (with my CEO Dana Wolfe Naimark) and the opportunity to network on this critical issues. Click here for a flyer.

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