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Eliminating CalWORKs would mean a loss of 70,000 jobs and nearly $1Billion in revenue to Los Angeles County
Los Angeles, CA- On Monday, June 1st, Community Voices, a Los Angeles County parent and caregiver advocacy project held a press conference to protest the draconian cuts to child care and Community Care Licensing, and the elimination of CalWORKs and Healthy Families.
Dozens of families, child care providers and children showed up in front of the Hoover Intergenerational Center (HIC) near Exposition Park to support local efforts to spread the word about these proposed cuts.
In Los Angeles County alone, the proposed cuts to child care would cost the county over 70,000 jobs and nearly $1 Billion in revenue. Over 45,000 parents in Los Angeles County are working and earning because of the CalWORKs child care program and contribute over $500 million to the economy. Over 60,000 children in Los Angeles County would be without stable, quality care and the state would lose close to $5 Billion in lost federal funding.
For many families, child care is the backbone of their financial and household stability. Mustaf Yusef, a parent whose young daughter attends HIC, believes the cuts are catastrophic. "If we cut the money for child care, we are cutting our children's power for the future", he said. "As a parent, I am supporting all children by opposing these cuts."
The Community Care Licensing Division has also been proposed for drastic restructuring. Child care facilities would no longer be inspected and the licensing division would be funded by fee increases rather than from funding from the state. Currently, child care inspections happen once every 5 years and the state is ranked 48th in the nation.
Wilma Kiel, the center director for HIC also spoke out against the cuts. "Cutting child care in this county will create a work stoppage", she said. "Nurses, bus drivers, and the list goes on, will not have child care and will not be able to work. It is that simple. Early Care and Education must be maintained so that parents can work and look for work and know that their children are in quality environments."
Also at risk is the Healthy Families Program, which provides health coverage for over 240,000 children in Los Angeles County and close to 1 million across the state. The Governor has proposed its elimination. Levi Kingston, founder of HIC and a community activist summed it up best when he said "These are some tough times, but we don't have time to mourn, we have to organize".
Budget hearings on child care and development and education funding were held today. The press conference was held to coincide with the hearings and to bring a local perspective to these proposals that are unfair to working families and to children.Â Â Â Â Â
Community Voices is supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. For more information, contact Sydney Kamlager-Santner at 323-421-2631.