From the Springfield Journal-Register:
I am one of tens of thousands of Illinoisans whose lives are mixed up in the Springfield budget showdown. I’m just a single mom, but the government shutdown and cuts to services are already putting the squeeze on me and many others.
I am grateful to have the Child Care Assistance Program to help with the cost of child care for my young daughter so I can work and she can be in a safe, nurturing environment. For me, my child care monthly co-payment is a little over $200. Without CCAP, it would cost me over $900 per month for child care. That is more than my mortgage and utilities combined. If I lost these services or if my co-pay increases, I could lose my home.
Now I am also worried about whether or not my child care provider will get paid and be able to keep her doors open. Gov. Rauner says he wants workers to get paid, but he vetoed the appropriation that would have allowed that to happen. He is also the one who seems to want this shutdown to happen.
Last week Gov. Rauner said pain is worth it if it brings change. This is not shared pain, though; it’s pain for the poor, the elderly and children — the most vulnerable people in our society.
I wish our governor would walk a day in the shoes of someone like me. I think he would realize how important the Child Care Assistance Program is if he did.
I’m a local child care provider serving low-income working parents in our area. These are struggling parents, many of whom work multiple jobs to get by. All they want is to provide a good life for their children.
Without the Child Care Assistance Program, many of these parents would face a situation where they are working just to pay for child care. This program is essential to keeping kids safe and enabling parents to support their families.
As we continue into July without a state budget, more and more working parents are being denied access to child care assistance. This will result in job loss and increased reliance on food stamps and other government support.
Child care providers also face uncertainty. Soon providers serving CCAP families will receive a paycheck for June work, but will be left wondering whether or not there will be one coming in August. No one can live their life or run a small business this way. I realize the General Assembly passed an unbalanced budget, but at least they aimed to fund vital services including child care help.
Now it’s time for Gov. Rauner to come to the table, negotiate over revenue and stop holding people like me hostage. These are people’s lives, and it feels like we’re merely bargaining chips to our governor. Please save the Child Care Assistance Program.
Lauri Dawn Grant