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Losing my childcare support upended my whole life

A small bump in my income meant I lost the child care support that was keeping my budget in line and keeping my family stable.

I am a single mother of young children and I am in law school with a degree from UW. But three years ago, a single set back destabilized my entire family. A single, and rare, support payment from the father of my children temporarily put me over the income limit for my childcare subsidy. Overnight, I lost my childcare subsidy leaving me very suddenly without childcare - my expenses went from $15 to $800 a month – more than half my paycheck.

I added a second job, and when that became unmanageable, switched jobs for management training program at a paint store. But this required working evenings which made finding a licensed, high-quality, affordable child care option even more difficult. It also meant more time away from my kids, which combined with rising rent, health problems, and other challenges made life hard to manage. Because of this and the inability to support my family, she slipped into another abusive relationship. 

When trying to escape my situation through finding employment, even though my income was zero I found I did not qualify for Working Connections Child Care for job interviews because I was not on federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Because I could not obtain employment I found myself and my three kids, at the time, homeless. 

Losing my childcare support upended my whole life. With the childcare subsidy, I was working toward a great future for me and my kids. Losing it meant it was impossible for me to work and take care of my family.

Angelica, Washington