Add this to the list of short-sighted money-savers being perpetrated in the name of balancing the budget. Turns out there was plenty of fat in the child-care subsidy system. A recent study by Ready to Learn Providence (a program under The Providence Plan) shows how precarious the ‘working’ status of our working poor is right now. Next stop? Welfare.
Between February and April 2008, R2LP conducted a survey of 482 licensed center-based and home-based providers throughout Rhode Island to investigate the impact of the revised eligibility requirements for the state’s Child Care Assistance Program…. The 2007-2008 state budget restricted eligibility for child-care subsidies to families falling below 180 percent of the federal poverty level – down from the previous threshold of 225 percent. At that time, a family of three at 225 percent of the federal poverty level had an income of $37,350; at 180 percent it was $29,888. The average annual cost for full-time preschool care for one child ranges from $8,140 for family child care to $8,736 for center-based care, according to R.I. Kids Count. The average cost of infant care in a center is $10,557.
The new requirements disqualified about 1,900 children statewide.