L/SFR Sneak Preview: Study Finds Budget Shortfalls, ARRA Cliff Squeezing Child Care Assistance

October 18, 2011 | By Liza Casabona | Post a Comment

(This post is excerpted from the Oct. 24 issue of Local/State Funding Report.) Child care policies in 37 states are leaving families worse off in 2011 than they were a year ago, according to a new report released by the National Women’s Law Center.

According to “State Child Care Assistance Policies 2011: Reduced Support for Families in Challenging Times,” families in only 11 states were better off under one or more child care policies implemented in their area this year than in 2010. The study shows significant erosion in 2011 compared to 2010, when families in 34 states were better off than they had been in 2009 and families in only 15 states reported being worse off.

A year ago, NWLC said, states benefitted from a $2 billion infusion of funds to the Child Care and Development Block Grant in 2009 and 2010 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. That short-term boost was mostly complete by the end of 2010, by which time 84 percent of the money had been spent. The subsequent dropoff in those funds coincided with states coping with severe budget deficits that made it hard to maintain even pre-ARRA levels of support for child care programs.

Subscribers to L/SFR can look to their Oct. 24 issue for the full story.

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