CHARLESTON — A concern for many working parents and child-care providers in Mason County, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin announced last week that the proposed changes to child-care aid set to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2013, have been delayed.
“After much discussion with parents and folks in the child-care industry, I decided it’s not in the best interest of West Virginia families to move forward with the scheduled changes to our state’s child-care subsidy,” Tomblin said.
“We still have work to do; these programs are not sustainable with our current level of funding, but at this point, I believe it’s best to keep hard-working families in the program and to look for other ways to address the budget shortfalls.”
As previously reported, some of the local child-care organizations affected by the potential cuts would include Early Education Station and Magic Years. Statewide groups affected will also include West Virginia Association for Young Children (WVAYC), West Virginia Childcare Centers United (WVCCU), and Regional Director’s Association (RDA).
The changes set to go into effect in Jan. 2013 reportedly would affect families that have an income greater than 150 percent above the poverty level and make them ineligible for to receive a state child-care subsidy. According to a release from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services, families with an income greater than $2,794 a month will not be eligible for a child-care supplement.
It was also previously stated that the cuts in child-care will have a ripple effect and affect more than just children. The lack of child-care could result in working parents losing their jobs and there would be an increase in costs of unemployment and welfare, as well as decreasing the tax base. Those employed at child development programs could also potentially lose their jobs.
It was also reported that changes regarding an increase in co-payments for families that currently receive subsidies went into effect on Aug. 1.