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A Proposed Mini Policy for Child Care Program

In existence to the modern day, where everything comes in handy, and where everything is just one snap away, there would be no doubt that the world is moving towards the improvement of human lives. On the same grounds, the access of contemporary family, specifically the low-income working and non-working families to a quality child care program will be the focus of this paper. The improvement of lives of these families would be the main goal that can be achieved by reforming an existing policy or by designing a mini-policy regarding a child care program.

When we talk of the child care policy existing in the United States, it can be noticed that the main focus would be on helping low-income working families (Edie, par. 2). It is acceptable to justify it by saying “because they are the ones who need it”. Not all families, especially the low-income families can afford the cost of raising their children which is mainly the reason why there is a need for a subsidy.

Considering the low-income non-working families, it somewhat differs with the low-income working families. The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) that helps the needy families through direct spending of its funds for child care (Kaplan, par. 2). TANF together with the Child Care and Development Funds (CCDF) are programs that were established under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in 1996 (Kaplan, par. 1). TANF for both families have limitations.

For low-income non-working families, there are requirements where the family is subjected to like data collection, time limits, work requirements and lastly, child support; whereas for low-income working families, there are no limits and requirements that they are further subjected to (Kaplan, par. 3). Even with the availability of this program, barriers in achieving it still exist. The subsidies that serve as the fuel for the Child Care Program are limited in terms of supply. The presence of a high required co-payment becomes a reason why needy families cannot afford it.

Because of the strict eligibility criteria for the subsidy recipient, not all of those who need it can have an access to it. There are only few child care providers, making the rural and inner-city an underserved area. And lastly, the existing child care is of poor quality. It can have a poor environment that would definitely result in inadequate services (Kaplan, par. 4). Child care is not a new thing in our society. It started when the lawmakers noticed that there is a need for a program that would attend to the needs of the people. But since it had started, many policies were also implemented.

Countless proposals were suggested addressing the program’s further improvement. People have different views when it comes to this certain topic. Some may likely argue that the current funds allotted for the program is insufficient. Thus, indicating that there is a need for an expansion of the budget. But this will be opposed by the people who think that the funds are still sufficient that the further actions in increasing of neither funds nor reallocation are of no use. Proposals on changing, specifically, expanding the federal tax policy can improve the family’s ability to pay for a child care.

But proposals like the former and those regarding the putting up of new set-asides are just likely to be opposed by those who believe that the CCDF funds are adequate, and those who oppose spending on “philosophical” basis (Kaplan, par. 8). There are many approaches in financing child care. Enacted in May 2001 in the Omnibus Tax Bill, the expansion of Federal Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit beyond expansions can increase the so called “allowable expenses” therefore raising the eligibility level. Thus, making it possible for families with inadequate income to owe federal income taxes (Kaplan, par.

9). Child Care policy making has become the responsibility of state governments rather than federal government. However, Federal Government still plays an important role in providing most of the over-all funds and sets the boundary of Child Care funding policy (Edie, par. 4). During the 2001 sessions, many policies were proposed for child care services. It included the addressing of the state and public funds to the low-income families who mainly needs the services. In addition, the funds should also be spent for the child’s early care and education (“Child Care”, par. 1).

In relation to the said session, many aspects of child care were also addressed. The seven states, namely: Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Virginia have proposed for the compensation of grants in consideration of the child care providers. Policies have also been proposed for the expansion of supply and access, regulations and services improvement for very young children with disabilities. Examining the statistics in the 1999 data, gathered by the State Policy Documentation Project, it found that among the 35 states with a child care guarantee to TANF families, majority must wait due to insufficient funds.

“27 states have a transitional child care guarantee for families moving from welfare to work—7 have a time limit on the guarantee, 6 have income limits on eligibility, and 14 have time and income limits. Among the remaining states without a transitional child care guarantee, 15 give priority to families leaving the welfare rolls over other low-income working families and one state guarantees that all working families with incomes below a certain level will receive child care assistance. Finally, 36 states provide child care assistance to families in education and training programs” (Kaplan, par. 25).

Many policies have been mentioned, and countless proposals have been considered. In examining the earlier stated policies, the inadequacy of one is then supplied by another existing policy. Therefore, upon thinking of a mini policy, I considered the barriers mentioned earlier, I have come up with a mini policy for child care program which is: to draw investors that would provide more funds for the program. By having this policy there would be no need to oppose many poli8cies. There’s no need to argue about the sufficiency of funds.

And most important of all, the quality of the services given to the children will be ensured to be of a good quality and therefore can address to the needs of the recipients. The funds that would therefore be received can be used for building constructions. Most of the facilities are of poor quality and therefore needs improvement and repair. With this mini policy, more needy families can be reached. This policy doesn’t only live the program’s main goal, but also, it can extend the program’s services to the underserved areas.

Therefore making more recipients for the said program. And this, gives meaning to the true heart of service. Works Cited “Child Care”. Child Care Newsletter. June 2001. Vol 1, No. 4. 12 May, 2008. <http://www. ncsl. org/public/sitesleg. htm>. Edie, David. July 2006. 12 May, 2008. <http://www. urban. org/url. cfm? ID=311347>. Kaplan, Jan. Reauthorization Notes. January 2002. Vol. 2, No. 1. 12 May, 2008. <http://www. financeproject. org/publications/childcarefundingpolicyissues_trn. htm>.

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