Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

February 16, 2013

In Your View

The Independent

ASHLAND — Day-care cuts impact everyone

Cuts to Child Care Assistance affect more than those with low incomes. Although the reasoning stated in the story sounds good in principle, the reality of the matter is it has trickle-down effects felt by higher-income families and businesses alike. You don’t receive assistance just because you are low-income and do not work. You are required to either be working or going to school.

In our region, CCA money is often a large part of the day-care business income. Losing that revenue means low-income parents will have to make other arrangements for child care or quit work/school and care for their children. The 2011 average cost for child care in Kentucky was $5,766 per year for a preschool child and $6,594 for an infant.

When the day care loses children, it must either increase rates, layoff staff or close. All three options impact all income classes that utilize child care. Closing is the decision made by the only day-care center in Olive Hill. That meant loss of jobs and tax revenue, plus putting wage earners into the unemployment system.

 The city, state and feds lose personal and business tax revenue. Economically, that is the reality of these cuts.

Then there is how it affects children. We also operate the Head Start program and we now have 11 children who have no means of before- and after-school care. Since we don’t run buses into all areas of the county, these children may be forced to drop out of the preschool program.

Now the reality of government logic: While cutting these programs, they still give $20 million to some country named Abuja for “Support to Vulnerable Households for Accelerated Revenue Earnings.” It appears Washington’s priorities are somewhat confusing.

David Carroll. Northeast Kentucky Community Action Agency, Olive Hill