Child care is the largest expense in the budget for families with young children. In 2012, full time care in a child care center for an infant in Nebraska cost an average of $ 7,747 per year. The child care subsidy program helps low-income working parents afford child care and helps ensure that children are safe while parents work.
Today, the state legislature took an important step forward on addressing what we refer to as the “cliff effect” in the child care program by advancing LB 359 to the second round of debate. The cliff effect refers to the challenge families experience when a raise as small as 10 cents an hour results in in an increase in child care costs of hundreds of dollars. LB 359 will help ensure that families participating in the child care subsidy program can take a small step forward while still being able to afford child care. The bill will allow for 10% of a household’s earned income to be disregarded when determining ongoing eligibility for the program.
Our state’s children are our state’s most important natural resource, and we are pleased that Nebraska State Senators made children a priority today by advancing LB 359.