Access to affordable child care helps keep children safe so parents can work. Voices for Children supports LB 1088 because it is another step toward restoring the cut made in 2002 to the child care subsidy program, which is a critical work support for low-income parents and children.
Even though the Nebraska Legislature increased eligibility for child care assistance last year, Nebraska’s income eligibility level still ranks 44th in the nation.
Eligibility for this particular program is of critical importance because of the the relationship between access to affordable quality child care and ability to work and because of the high cost of child care. Earlier this week, we released an updated version of the Family Bottom Line report that looks at what Nebraska families need to earn to make ends meet without assistance.
The research is clear – Child care is the most significant expense in the budget for families with young children. Child care costs represent from 26-33% of the family budget and the monthly cost ranges from about $960 per month in rural counties to about $1350 per month in more urban areas of the state.
Nebraska’s current income eligibility level does not reflect the current budgetary circumstances facing families and we still have work to do to restore the cut made to the child care program back in 2002. We urge the Judiciary Committee to advance LB 1088 to help parents access affordable, quality child care.