Affordable child care is vital to allow families to work and to keep children safe.
In Nebraska, the Child Care Subsidy Program provides assistance to low-income families that are working their way toward independence by helping cover the costs of childcare. Unfortunately, Nebraska ranks at the bottom of the country in income eligibility for the Child Care Subsidy Program, creating barriers to employment for families that make very little money, but still do not qualify for help.
But now, we have a chance to raise the child care subsidy eligibility level to a meaningful level by passing LB 625 – a bill introduced by Senator Daniel Conrad that would raise the income eligibility threshold for the program. This would allow more parents to work for their families while maintaining the safety of their children.
Watch video and read the transcript of Appleseed Economic Justice and Health Care Access Director James Goddard testifying in support of LB 625 before the Health and Human Services Committee on February 27:
In Nebraska, a family of three may earn a maximum of $2,000 per month to be eligible for child care assistance. Yet, families earning slightly more than that still face significant barriers to afford the cost of child care. That hurts the safety of their children and the ability of that family to work to better their circumstances.
LB 625 would reestablish the child care subsidy requirement at a rate that is more realistic with the current cost of childcare. It would allow families who earn between 120% and 185% of the Federal Poverty Level to access childcare assistance while still requiring they pay a portion of the costs.
This bill is not only good policy for the strength of Nebraska’s families, but also for the health of our economy and the continued fight against unemployment and underemployment.