The feds are pumping 40 million dollars into the state’s Childcare Assistance Program, that helps working and middle-class parents pay for child care services. That means 4,000 more families will get help finding a safe environment for their pre-kindergarten age children while they’re at work.
Louisiana Policy Institute for Children Executive Director Melanie Bronfin says that’s big for working parents.
“Childcare in our state, in our country cost almost as much as a public college tuition so it’s a great need.”
Bronfin says helping working families figure out what to do with their children is not only good for the kids but great for the economy.
“It’s a win-win because it’s both helping a parent get to work, and that child is likely to be in a higher quality setting which means they will be more ready when they enter kindergarten.”
The program has had to cut back dramatically in the last decade, as the state cut off all funds for Childcare Assistance after years of budget cuts. Bronfin says those cuts kicked 25 thousand families out of the program.
“We have gone down because our state has pulled out our state investment dramatically, just serving 15,000 kids from the almost 40,000 we were serving 10 years ago.”
The program provides, on average, three to four thousand dollars in assistance. the average cost for childcare can run 6,000 dollars.