New changes help make childcare more affordable for low-income families
SPOKANE, Wash. — It is not surprising that childcare can be expensive, but new changes are helping make it more affordable.
The Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families’ “Working Connections Child Care” subsidy helps low-income families pay for child care.
Tanisa Dailey, a single mom who works and goes to school, used to pay up to $700 a month for daycare–and that was with assistance from DYCF.
On Oct. 1, DCYF capped co-pays at no more than seven percent of a family’s income. Now, Dailey only pays $115 to send her three children to daycare.
“It was very nice. I was super excited and it really helped me not put so much stress on,” Dailey said. “Being able to know, ‘Okay, I can go for those diapers. I can afford groceries, I can afford that gas now.’”
Katia Jasmin was in the same boat, paying nearly $400 a month.
“I used to make it work, like I know when I get paid, so I’d pay them two times, like half on one check, and half on the second check,” Jasmin said.
Families that fall under 60 percent of the states’ median income can now also qualify for childcare assistance. Before, it was based on the federal poverty level.
The changes are believed to help nearly 6,000 families.
It’s something Pamela Haley, owner and program supervisor for Rainbow Connections, hopes parents take more advantage of.
“I think this is going to be really important, I think it’s going to make it possible for more people to find quality childcare,” she said. “They are increasing money to us, which is allowing us to pay our teachers more, which has been a problem.”
DCYF will be giving daycare facilities stabilization grants.
“I can finally reward my teachers who stuck it out all the way through COVID, and I can give them bonuses, I can offer sign-on bonuses to new teachers that can help us expand,” Haley said.
Those grants are expected later this fall.
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