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Study Finds Subsidized Child Care Essential For Working Families

Research Indicates Child Care Subsidies An Immense Economic Help

Crystal Stairs, Inc., a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the lives of families through child care services, research and advocacy, has released a research report that tracked poverty and income impacts of child care subsidies.

A Step Up, But Not Out: Tracking the Poverty and Income Impacts of Child Care Subsidies documents the key role played by child care subsidies in Los Angeles County.

The study reveals that while access to child care subsidies has decreased the percentage of families in poverty by ten to thirty percentage points, once parents entered the workforce, there was no evidence of continued income growth, and even some evidence of declining incomes. Los Angeles County has suffered from a dearth of well-compensated, upwardly mobile jobs that offer benefits. Most of the employment opportunities are for low-skilled, low-wage jobs. This puts many families who are transitioning from welfare, as well as other poor families, at a disadvantage to be able to quickly escape or rise out from poverty.

The study demonstrates that Crystal Stairs is an economic driver in the community by providing access to subsidized child care. Subsidies remain a critical component in assisting families in moving toward self-sufficiency. However, they only play a part in the overall strategy of eliminating poverty, and best work when joined with other social service resources. The report gives suggestions on how better tracking of poverty levels of families at the state level could lead to the identification of more successful poverty alleviation programs.

“What the data shows is that child care subsidies are critical for families to succeed,” stated Holly J. Mitchell, CEO of Crystal Stairs. “Poor and working poor families need access to child care subsidies. They also need access to other safety net programs that, pooled together, can alleviate poverty. A child who is poor comes from a family who is poor and not helping that child or that family become economically self-sufficient is unacceptable. We will continue to advocate on behalf of these families because child care should not be a luxury and quality child care should not be a privilege.”

Later this week, a major child care portfolio will be released to update the public on the issues concerning childcare in the state of California. The A Step Up, But Not Out research study complements this data, but focuses on a more concentrated area, specifically South Los Angeles (including Inglewood, Watts, Hawthorne, Lawndale, and Gardena).

For more information on this research study or to receive a copy of the report, please contact Sydney Kamlager-Santner 323-421-2631.