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Needing Help

As a single mother of two small children, I've had to get used to the idea of asking for help. When it comes to childcare, there's no question of me doing it on my own. I simply don't make enough money to pay for one, let alone two kids. It sounds strange, but I guess it's true that I'm fortunate in that I make little enough money to qualify for Working Connections Childcare in Washington State. Through my WCC subsidy, I'm able to send my son and will soon send my 3-month old daughter to a safe, nourishing, learning-based environment where my son has undeniably thrived. I can feel comfortable leaving him there each morning, knowing that when I pick him up at the end of the day he'll be delighted to see me but he won't want to leave. I can feel like a good parent.

When I think about the possibility of losing this subsidy, my heart breaks. I cannot imagine having to remove my children from this exceptional, nurturing facility to pay someone under the table in an out of the way in-home care facility because that's all I can afford. I would do anything to leave my children where they are now. I would go into as much personal debt as possible. Their safety, health, and education are the most importants things in the world to me, and they should be to legislators too. These children are at the cusp, where they can grow and learn or be shunted to the margins of society because no one took time with them. I'm terrified that my children are going to slip through some legislative crack because children and families weren't as important as some other, more heavily funded and lobbied issue. In my mind, there only one question. What could possibly matter more?

—NanWashington
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