Working as a subsidized childcare social worker and still not able to pay for childcare
As a single mother and a social worker, I am still within 200% of the poverty limit. Unfortunately, my gross monthly income has always been just enough to exclude me from receiving food stamps and subsidized child care. Effective 8/1/11, the income limit is being raised and I will finally be eligible for subsidized child care. Unfortunately, as a child care subsidy social worker I know all to well that being "eligible" does not mean that the resource will be "available." So like 1300 other families in my county I am now on a waiting list that is approximately 2 years long. By that time my income will have increased just enough to make me ineligible for childcare but not enough to actually be able to afford childcare. What's worse is the fact that if I weren't trying to succeed, if I were unemployed and not even looking for a job, the government would provide childcare, housing, food assistance and medicaid to me and my son, free of charge. So it is actually more profitable to stay home and do nothing than it is to try to succeed. This is why our social programs fail so many of us. The government officials/policy makers have no idea what is going on at the front lines and they designate policy from a place of ignorance and apathy. They have no concept of poverty and how close it is to the American middle class. I urge everyone to write to their legislators on the issue of subsidized childcare and the policy surrounding it; that the policy excludes working parents who actually need it by providing it stay at home parents who don't. It seems to me that unless they are bombarded by letters from their voters, nothing will provoke them to investigate the issue further. Chances are, their families have never needed social services to survive.