The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

DeBoer Introduces Child Care Bill

 

January 20, 2021



Lincoln — Senator Wendy DeBoer introduced LB485 to make affordable child care available to more low-income workers in our state.

The Child Care Subsidy program, also called Title XX, provides child care assistance for low income workers by distributing funds directly to child care providers. Currently, families whose income is less than one-hundred thirty percent of the federal poverty level, or approximately $22,412 per year or $1,868 per month for a single parent with one child, are eligible to receive assistance through the program.

LB485 would expand eligibility to families whose income is less than one-hundred and eighty-five percent of the federal poverty level, or closer to $31,896 per year or $2,658 per month for a single parent with one child.

“In the last year, we have seen how important child care is to our community, especially for our frontline and essential workers,” Senator DeBoer said. “When workers do not have access to quality, affordable child care, they are often forced to take time off the job, scale back to part time, or drop out of the workforce altogether. By making child care affordable for working families, we can address the workforce needs of our businesses, while supporting families so they can keep working.”

LB485 would also support families as they are working their way off of public assistance. The high cost of child care, coupled with Nebraska’s low eligibility levels for child care assistance, create a situation in which workers must strategize to remain eligible for such critical assistance because they can’t afford the cost of child care without it. This is often referred to as the “cliff effect.” LB485 ensures that workers are better able to afford the full cost of child care before they are dropped off the program.

The bill includes transitional assistance if their income is below two hundred percent of the federal poverty level. This transitional assistance addresses the cliff effect in childcare and allows families the flexibility to accept promotions or transition into careers that provide more opportunities for growth without fear of losing their benefits.

 

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