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From Work to Welfare? The Cut To Childcare Subsidies

Dec 5, 2013

Credit Associated Press

Some Monroe County families could soon go from work to welfare. That’s according to Furnessa Mangrum, Executive Director of the Jefferson Avenue Childhood Development Center.

Her comments come in response to County Executive Maggie Brooks’ latest budget proposal which calls for a $1.3 million cut in childcare subsidies. The subsidies help low-income working families off-set the cost of day care.

Mangrum says the funding cut means a ripple-effect is inevitable.

"Unfortunately what is going to happen is that that old saying where the Department of Social Services was working at one point in time for many years to move people from welfare to work that has changed,” says Mangrum. “Now we're seeing families that may go from work to welfare, “Mangrum adds.

In Monroe County, day care, on average, can cost anywhere from close to $200 a week up to nearly $250, per child, depending on age. That’s according to the New York State Office of Children and Family Services.

The local child advocacy group, The Children’s Agenda, says the cut means 485 fewer families will receive childcare subsidies next year.

Local faith leaders and children’s advocates are sharing their concerns Thursday night at the County Legislature’s Ways and Means Committee meeting. They’re asking for the $1.3 million to be restored, plus an additional $600,000 in funding for essential programs.