Against child-care cuts

Posted: Tuesday, March 07, 2000

I read in the Juneau Empire's Feb. 24 edition about the cuts in the child-care assistance program. This can not happen. I strongly urge the state of Alaska to not let this happen.

There are people out there who would not make it. Say you have John and Jane Doe with four children and a mortgage of $1,500 per month. They also have an electricity bill of $250 per month and then an additional $500 per month per child to be in daycare while their folks are at work. Plus, they have to eat. A large family like that can easily put away $600-700 per month in food. Now, you have the other bills. The oldest child is a chronic asthmatic who visits the doctor more than you. Health insurance, if they have it, will only cover 80 percent of the bills. Take into consideration that this family does not have any credit cards and the clothes they get are from a second-hand shop. You do the math. The average family brings in $2,800-3,800 per month. Child care assistance is based on a percentage of income that the family makes.

I believe if we want to have a better society in Alaska, we need to start with the children, they are our future. By cutting the budget on child care, Denali Kids, and other programs that better our children; we will be lost. If you think this does not affect the people that can afford child-care costs, think again. Children interact with each other. Children learn from other children and if we can't be there to monitor them, no one will.

I urge all Alaskans to speak up on behalf of our children. It's not about us, it's about them.

Joey Tillson

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