Council Member On Assistance Cuts: They've Got To Change Their Minds On This

Nov 19, 2013

With steep cuts to the Child Care Assistance program now  in effect, Lexington lawmakers are arguing the state must find a way to restore the funding.

Credit Greg Stotelmyer

Tuesday, the city’s Social Services Committee heard from Bradley Stevenson, director of the Child Care Council of Kentucky, about the effects of the cuts, which froze applications earlier this year and tightened eligibility requirements.

"Families are going to be forced to make a choice or quit their job or put their child into a completely non-regulated, low quality environment," Stevenson told the committee.

Councilman George Myers said that the cuts, which came about due to an $86M budget shortfall, produce too many negatives to ignore.

"We've got to tell the governor and the legislature they've got to change their mind on this. If they need to find that savings, they've got to find that some place else because in fact this is not going to be a savings. It's going to cost the taxpayers and our community a lot more in the long run than what this is going to save," Myers argued.

Already close to 20 percent fewer children are enrolled in the program compared with a year ago. Myers and others on the committee said they would like to see the council express strong opposition to the cuts in a resolution when the General Assembly convenes in January, though state officials have argued that the Department for Community Based Services simply can’t afford to reinstate the funding.

Stevenson says in all about 4000 families across the state have lost child care assistance since the new requirements went into effect.