Local News

Cuts to child care subsidy squeeze some families

Posted February 22, 2013

— Steep cuts to child care funding have led to an alarming reality for hundreds of local families, who will lose their eligibility for subsidized care next week.

Wake County recently sent about 750 termination notices for children between the ages of 8½ and 12. Officials said it largely is a result of receiving about $1.9 million less from the state than expected.

"What am I going to do? How am I going to work?" said Cynthia Amos, whose older son was among the terminations. "I really don't have too many options at this point."

Amos has a first-grader and a third-grader who get after-school care at Gingerbread LittleVersity in Fuquay-Varina. The single mother said she now faces the choice of letting her son, who's not yet 9, stay at home alone after school or quit her full-time job at a fast-food restaurant.

"I do everything I can for them. Now, I feel like it's not enough," she said.

The child care subsidy is based on an assessment of need, income and family size. Most parents are required to work in order to qualify, and Kelli Ketner, general manager of Gingerbread LittleVersity, said the county picks up, on average, two-thirds of the cost of child care.

Gingerbread LittleVersity Some children being forced out of after-school care

Ketner said the children being terminated from subsidized care aren't mature enough to be left on their own.

"I''m just scared of what's going to happen to them," she said.

Gingerbread LittleVersity cares for 125 children between 6 weeks old and 12 years old. Many of them are picked up at their schools, and they are fed an afternoon snack and receive homework assistance.

"We keep them out of trouble, that's the main thing," Ketner said.

Wake County officials said the state is looking into whether it can reallocate funds before next week's cuts take place.

"This is the only way I'm going to be able to keep a job," Amos said. "Not only that, the day care is helping my kids with their education."


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  • BaseBallMommy Feb 26, 2013

    I do feel for the parents but I do agree that no one guarantees that you will have enough money to support your family. I have been very fortunate that I have worked and a grandparent kept the kids. If the grandparent wasn't around we would have to cut our spending to affordme staying home. I know the one they interviewed is a single mother but a single mother can still live with their dad and get the subsidy. no one verifies this info, I had a coworker who received the subsidy because she didn't tell them she was married.

  • goldenosprey Feb 25, 2013

    When my parents were kids, a dad with a high school diploma could take a blue collar job, buy a decent house and raise a factory while the mom stayed home with the kids. Now, it takes two earners to support a family in most situations. Wages have dropped so severely, if we don't pay a daycare $7/ hour so the parent can work and earn $7.50/hr, the parent is a lazy moocher. I guess we decided it would be better if the parent was just a plain moocher rather than a lazy moocher.

    Meanwhile what happened to executive salaries? Hmmmmm.

  • Bob3425 Feb 25, 2013

    kermit60 - You're crying over milk that hasn't even spill yet. You will still have a job so be thankful for that.

  • Bob3425 Feb 25, 2013

    "This will cause people to drop out of the labor force. More unemployment, more poverty. Great start, republicans!" --goldenosprey

    Better look backward at what cause this, this is a problem that has been around for awhile. Times are going to get hard, we have to cut bottom line. Parent need to be self supporting, it not the state job to provide for their kids. I am a firm believer in helping WHEN YOU CAN, the state can't there isn't enough money to fund all the programs. I think it is going to get a lot worst before we see good times again.

  • goldenosprey Feb 25, 2013

    Wow, superman, talk about big government...

    Not to mention a lot of folks start a family while in decent financial shape, but parents get sick or injured, or the mill closes, etc. Then hardworking folks can't make ends meet. I know y'all think that is a character flaw but it's not the real problem.

    The problem is wages are so low if you have just one child and you don't have a really good job, chances are you cannot afford daycare if there's no grandparent, etc. around.

    This will cause people to drop out of the labor force. More unemployment, more poverty. Great start, republicans!

  • superman Feb 25, 2013

    People should have to show proof of financial responsibility before they are allowed to have children. If you cant afford them perhaps a dog or cat might be more suitable for you. Please dont think other taxpayers have an obligation to pay for your childcare. Give the children up for adoption.

  • kermit60 Feb 25, 2013

    The single mother ? Does she recieve child support? Why do so many people who get themselves in over their head feel it is societies problem and should come up with the money to fix it? I'm going to take a 20% pay cut do to budget cuts. Nobody is going to help me.

  • readme Feb 25, 2013

    If parents want to put their kids in after school care, they should pay for it just like I do. In order to make those payments, I cut back on discretionary spending, probably a lot more than some of thes so-called impoverished people. And just maybe if everyone had to pay for it without using government subsidies, the cost might go down and be a little more affordable. I know if I'm running a daycare, I'm going to jack up the rates as high as Mr. Taxpayer can afford!

  • mustainemad Feb 25, 2013

    Perfectly said, timexliving!!!

  • girlwonders Feb 25, 2013

    What really stinks is that families pay 125$ per week per child for daycare, the workers make 8$ an hour and take care of 12 - 15 children and the owners are making all the money while the workers themselves make so little. The reason I only had one child is that I could only afford one child...