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Archive for March, 2010

Making My Case

Single Mothers Left With No Option

Thousands of single mothers across the United States are at risk because of the potential massive 2010 budget cuts, forcing them to be left with no day care alternative.

By July 2010 many single mothers receiving child care subsidies will be left with the struggle of finding another form of daycare due to the severe budget cuts in funding.  Across the nation, many states are facing large budget cuts with not enough money coming from the federal government.  Oregon is one of the states that are encountering enormous budget cuts in the area of daycare.  Should the federal government provide more funds to help single mothers afford day care?  Yes, because for many families public assistance is the only form of aid that can lessen the burden of high child care costs.

In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was put in place by President Obama which allocated $2 billion among the fifty states to be put towards child care services.  The hefty amount didn’t last very long, which is the issue many states are encountering today.  States have to make budget cuts in the area of child care since money from the state for day care has run low and funding is needed elsewhere.  The issue is leaving many mothers worried that they are at risk for losing their financial assistance from the federal government.  One state experiencing a tremendous lack of funds for child care is Oregon.

In order to qualify for a child care subsidy in Oregon, a single mother must be at or below the federal poverty line which is an income of $18,310 per year for a family of three.  The income has increased from 2008, which was $17,600, so more families are able to receive child care assistance.  The state’s budget has not been able to keep up with the growing numbers of families that are resorting to child care assistance from the federal government.  Oregon’s governor, Ted Kulongoski, is proposing a budget cut of $30.2 million in child care subsidies within the next two years. Under the governor’s new proposal, single mothers already receiving public assistance who are employed will qualify, but new applicants that are low-income will no longer be eligible.  Because of the new qualifications, it is estimated that 2,913 families each month will not be able obtain services from the state.

Denise, a social worker at a non-profit organization called the White Shield Center, says that she can no longer afford to put her daughter in day care because of the large decrease in her child care subsidy.  “I was told I was qualified for 160 hours of daycare, but I found out I only qualified for 140 hours,” she says.  Because of the new qualifications, Denise is now left with $600 that she never expected to pay and is not able to afford.  She had to decide whether or not she should stay at home with her daughter in order to save money on day care or keep working to pay the high costs.  She was left with removing her daughter from day care and finding family members as a short-term day care alternative while she worked to pay off her debt.

Many mothers in Oregon would be in the same boat as Denise if their child care subsidies were either reduced or diminished.  For example, Angela, a single mother of two, says that without government assistance with child care, she wouldn’t be able to work because she wouldn’t be able to afford the high costs of day care.  Similar to that of Angela, Rachel and Mary are single mothers of three children and they also say they wouldn’t be able to work without child care assistance.  A ripple effect is created because without child care subsidies they couldn’t afford day care and would have to stay home, and if they stayed home they wouldn’t be able to afford to live.  It becomes a viscous cycle that is never-ending if the funds are not provided.  Both women say their day care costs are over $1000 per month, which would be impossible to pay with their low income.

Not only are single mothers taking the hit of the enormous budget cuts, day care facilities are affected also.  One single mother in Springfield, OR named Gina Rovier is at risk at losing her client due to the decrease in subsidies.  If Rovier loses her client, she loses her business and her only source of income.  Another woman in Oregon by the name of Wold-Adams runs a day care facility at her home for twelve children, seven of which come from families that use the subsidies.  She’s at risk for losing over half of her clients if the bill was to pass.

Some daycare facilities are taking advantage of single mothers like Francis Sanchez, who’s a mother of two.  With revenue decreasing due to the lack of child care subsidies, daycare facilities are finding ways to make up for the lost income. “They claimed my children were there more hours than they were,” says Sanchez.  Francis works full time but isn’t able to afford the high costs of daycare which has recently forced her to resort to public assistance.  She’s had her child care subsidy for about three or four months and only receives $100 per month for both children.  Her subsidy seems like a good amount, but not when her co-pay alone costs $350 per month.

Some people don’t feel so strongly about the issue and are against the increase of funding for struggling families.  A land lord in Oregon doesn’t want to allow day care facilities to be run at her apartment complex, even though for some struggling mothers the facilities are the only source of income and the only alternative to larger child care facilities.  Some people, like Peter Buckley, feel like there are other things that are more of a priority, such as better care for senior citizens.

Single mothers and their financial struggle for day care is a top priority because if the budget cuts are passed, starting in July over three thousands families will be left with no alternative for day care.  The need for public assistance is only increasing among families and if there is no money to keep up with the growing number, many will find themselves deepened even further into poverty with nowhere to turn.

Links

Analyzing 10 Links

July 2010 Child Care Cuts

This article done by Ruth Liao published on December 21, 2009 is a journalistic source that comes from an online newspaper called the Statesman Journal.  She talks about how in Oregon, by July 2010 there will be a large budget cut that will cause the amount of child care subsidies to be decreased by about half.  Also by July, qualifications for the subsidies will be changed so that fewer families will be able to receive them in order to afford child care.  She interviews a woman named Rhonda Prodzinski who is the program manager at a daycare, since daycare providers will lose clients because of the cut in child care subsidies.

The people in the community are the audience for the article since it comes from a local newspaper in Oregon.  The author of the article is trying to describe the issues many families are facing with cuts in child care subsidies.  The argument is for not only the families, but also the day care providers who will also be affected because they will lose business and profits.  The author is trying to make the community aware of the problems that lie ahead for hundreds of families.  People in the community are not only the audience, but they also fund the Statesman Journal.  Without people buying the newspaper, it wouldn’t be in existence and it wouldn’t allow authors like Ruth Liao to report on serious issues like budget cuts that affect thousands of people.

(February 21, 2010 10:30 am)

New Qualifications for Child Care Subsidies

This article is an institutional source that was published on January 23, 2009 and it was provided by the Oregon Center for Public Policy (OCPP) that provides information about the raised federal poverty line that isn’t benefiting many mothers due to the governor’s budget proposal.  With the raised poverty line, more families are becoming eligible but under the new budget, subsidies will still be limited and will be given to those who found a job after being on public assistance.  Families that are working, but are low-income and aren’t already on public assistance, will not be eligible for the child care subsidies.  The amount of families losing their subsidies has already increased.

The article doesn’t state an author, but it does state a policy analyst by the name of Michael Leachman who was a primary source in writing the document.  The document was mainly intended for families seeking out the new criteria for the subsidies to see if they qualify.  The article gives families a sense of whether or not they will be losing their subsidy by providing income amounts and correlating the numbers with the likeliness of receiving a subsidy and losing one.  Since the OCPP is a non-profit organization, it is funded by the community and its donations.

(February 21, 2010 10:15 am)

Child care subsidy receivers and daycare providers affected

This is an article from the online newspaper The Bulletin that is a journalistic source and was published on February 2, 2009.  The author, Hillary Borrud, interviews not only a single mother, but also two child care providers that run small daycares in Oregon that are at risk of losing their businesses.  The single mother, Jessica Parker, is working and has two children, so she depends on the child care subsidies she gets from the state in order to afford daycare.  If the governor’s budget proposal goes through, Parker is at risk of losing daycare and even her home.

This article addresses many issues aimed towards single mothers and child care providers.  Since it’s a newspaper article, its funds come from the community.  This particular article is trying to grab the attention of single mothers and raise concern about the governor’s budget cuts.  By cutting the number of child care subsidies, it’s going to affect many single mothers in Oregon.  The budget cut is also going to affect child care providers, which is another audience the article is trying to target. The cut is going to affect thousands of people and by putting this article in the media, it’s going to make many people aware.

(February 21, 2010 10:45 am)

Federal Funding for Child Care Subsidies

This government website, updated in November 2009, is an institutional source provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human services that describes the Child Care and Development Fund which provides money for child care services.  The website mentions how much money the Obama Administration has put forth for child care services through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which is a total of $2 billion to be spread among each state.  The website also breaks down how the money is allocated towards the services and shows that not very much of it goes towards the child care subsidies.

The fact sheet provided on the website has no author listed, but describes where the Department of Human Services (DHS) receives its money, which is from the government.  The website DHS provides is funded by the government also.  The website targets families who have reached the poverty line and are seeking public assistance.  This particular part of the website provides information for the public showing how they are funded and in turn, how they fund families.  The site breaks down the money DHS receives and describes how they allocate the money to every state.  This information shows people how little money each state receives for public assistance and a possibility as to why budget cuts are proposed.

(February 23, 2010 11:55 am)

Not Enough Capitol in Oregon

This article, published on May 31, 2009, comes from The Oregonian online that is a journalistic source.  The author, Joany Carlin, interviews a single mother named Mary Browne who is working and is one of the many working single mothers who are at risk of losing their child care subsidies.  Overall, about 3,000 families will be losing their subsidies, starting in July 2010.  The governor’s proposal is a $47 million cut from funding for daycare in Oregon.  Without the help of subsidies, many single mothers like Browne will be losing a lot more than just daycare.

Since the article comes from The Oregonian, it is funded by people in the communities of Oregon.  This particular article is targeting families who are a part of the 3,600 families that will be losing their child care subsidy due to the $47 million budget cut.  One of the primary sources in the article was a man named Peter Buckley who is Democrat in Ashland, argues that there are other issues the state should be focusing on that are more of a top priority than child care.  The article shows both sides of the argument, which allows the reader to decide which side he or she agrees with.

(February 23, 2010 11:45 am)

Child Care Subsidies for Low-Income Families

This is a citizen source, published in January 2010, done by the Associate Professor of the Sociology department at the University of Oregon, Ellen Scott.  She interviewed many single mothers about the child care subsidies they receive.  Most of the mothers explained how much the subsidies have helped them financially and without public assistance for daycare, they wouldn’t be able to work.  Many of the single mothers also explained how they would lose everything they had if they didn’t receive public assistance, especially assistance with child care since daycare costs over $1,000 per month.

The article had no funding and targeted an audience for research.  The author went out into the field and interviewed a small group of women as her primary source for her article.  She wanted to show the effects the decline of subsidies would have on mothers currently using them.  The author wanted to use real people and their stories to have an effect on the public.  The target audience for the article is people seeking information about the effects of the large budget cut and have single mothers describe to the public what they would be losing due to the decline in the amount of subsidies.  The article was mainly to raise awareness on the issue.

(February 23, 2010 12:30 pm)

Child Care Providers Lose Clients

This is a journalistic source, published May 25, 2009 by David Steves, that comes from The Register Guard and is primarily about a woman named Gina Rovier who runs her own day care, but is also a single mother.  She only has one client who is low-income and due to the risk of Oregon’s budget cut, Rovier is at risk for losing her business.  If Rovier loses her only client because of the loss of child care subsidies, she will lose her source of income.  She would then have to look for a different a job and find a daycare provider for her child, which won’t be easy since there won’t be child care subsidies available to her.

This article is funded by the public because it comes from a local newspaper called The Register Guard.  The public is the audience the article is intended for because it raises awareness of an issue occurring in the community.  The article argues for the side of families and single mothers who are at risk at losing their subsidies and it also argues for women who have their own day care business that is also at risk because they will lose clients.  The article describes a sort of ripple effect that is caused by the tremendous budget cut.

-Francis Sanchez

This was an interview that is a citizen source that was done on February 12, 2010.  Francis Sanchez is a working, single mother of two children who started receiving child care subsidies about three months ago.  Because she works full time she gets less hours paid for by the state for daycare, which is a constant struggle for her.  She only receives $100 from the state of Oregon for both of her kids, which isn’t enough help since the daycare co-payment alone is $350.  Sanchez provides first-hand experience as to what it is like being on public assistance for day care and being one of many families who are at risk of losing the financial help.

Sanchez targets an audience of single mothers, since she is one herself.  She is a woman who is relatable because of her constant financial struggle.  There are thousands of families in her position that may be forced to find another form of day care by July 2010.  Sanchez tells a story that many people can empathize with, which can cause support from the community, emotionally and financially.  Her story raises awareness on an issue that many people may not know about.

(February 12, 2010 12:10 pm)

-Denise G.

This was an interview that was done on February 2, 2010 that is a citizen source.  Denise is a single mother who has a full time job and a daughter.  Even with the full time job Denise is low-income and depends on her child care subsidy to put her daughter in daycare.  She recently had to pull her daughter out of day care because she didn’t get the vouchers she needed from the Department of Human Services in time to give to the day care center.  She ended being stuck with over $600 of debt that she owed to the day care facility.  She is a prime example of the child care subsidy program failing her.

Denise’s story provides a different angle on the issue.  She is in a position where cuts in funding have forced her to remove her daughter from day care because she alone can no longer make the payments.  Her story is relatable to the public because many single mothers are in the same position.  People can empathize with her, which makes the argument for more funding, stronger.  Denise’s case is an example of why the state of Oregon needs more funding for public assistance and how the budget cut to decrease assistance will cause more families to have limited day care options.

(February 2, 2010 4:35 pm)

Landlords Against Day Care

This is an article from The Oregonian online that was published on May 21, 2009 and is a journalistic source.  The article was done by a woman named Janet Portman who allows readers to ask various types of questions and she gives them answers.  In this particular article, a landlord writes to her telling Portman that she wants to ban day cares from her apartment complex.  Portman replies to the question by stating that in some states it is actually illegal for landlords to ban residents from providing day care services in their apartments and it is also considered discrimination based on class.  Many people are struggling to find day care facilities they can afford due to the loss of child care subsidies, which are causing some to run their own facilities.

The article comes from the opposition of the argument because the landlord is trying to prevent a day care facility from his or her complex and is speaking for many landlords in various states.  Many people cannot afford the larger day care facilities because of lack of income and financial support from the state. More families are turning to private facilities that are operated at people’s homes, which cost much less than the larger corporate day care facilities

(March 12, 2010 8 pm)

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