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Letter: Low-Income White Plains Families Need More Child Care Assistance

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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — The White Plains Daily Voice accepts signed and original letters to the editor up to 350 words. To submit a letter, email

To the Editor:

The high cost of childcare is an obstacle to employment among low-income families, affecting those living at or below 200 percent of poverty with young children.

High-quality childcare promotes child development by providing children the opportunity to learn and advance skills essential for success in academia and life.

A government subsidy that aids payment for childcare is essential.

Childcare subsidies are a mix of federal and state funds that reimburses child care providers on behalf of families and are critical to low-income families.

These subsidies have been eroded by inflation, growing demand and recently by reduction in state budgets.

“States have dropped their investment in child care substantially,” said Linda Saterfield, vice chairwoman of the National Association of State Child Care Administrators. “We’re being expected to do more with less.”

The Child Care and Development Block Grant is the primary source of federal funding for childcare subsidies for low income working families.

States contribute matching funds and TANF maintenance-of-effort.

However, programs are being cut as Congress seeks deficit reduction.

States are trying to balance their budgets; some view cuts in services for families as a necessary step.

U.S. policies create strong incentives for parents to work and provide additional income support for low-income parents, they are less effective in ensuring that children whose parents work have access to appropriate and stimulating early care environment.

The supply of subsidized childcare in New York City has decreased.

Working parents with low-income wages struggle to pay for shelter and food.

Families with young children and employed mothers rely on informal, low direct-cost care supplied by relatives.

And childcare impacts the development of children. Children in low-income families score worse on a wide range of indicators.

There is a strong consensus that high-quality early childcare, whether by parents or others, enhances children’s cognitive and social development.

Proponents argue high-quality care should not damage the family budget.

High-quality childcare is unaffordable for low-income families without government assistance, especially in New York.

Confronting the financial realities facing low-income working parents, policymakers created work supports and childcare subsidies.

It's time to expand federal and state childcare funding.

Jose Perez-Vivaldo, White Plains resident

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