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Myths about the adequacy of current child care funding

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Mezey, Jennifer
Publication Date: 
29 Mar 2004

Available in print for order (see SOURCE) and online for download.

Excerpts from paper: As the Senate begins debate on welfare reauthorization and child care funding, this analysis debunks six myths about the adequacy of federal funding for child care. The six myths are: Myth 1: The Senate welfare bill provides $3.3 billion in child care funding, which is more than enough to cover the estimated $1 billion to $1.5 billion in increased work and child care costs. Myth 2: States do not need significant additional child care funding because they can use Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds for child care. After all, welfare caseloads fell by 50 percent between 1996 and 2000, but states still receive the same TANF block grant amount. Myth 3: The welfare bills passed by the House and approved by the Senate Finance Committee would free up $2 billion in TANF funding that states could use for child care assistance. Myth 4: In 2003, states got fiscal relief from the federal government, which should have helped them take care of their child care needs. Myth 5: Only half the states have waiting lists for child care. Therefore, the need for child care is not that great, and we don't need significantly more funding. Myth 6: We have enough funding to meet the needs of TANF families and families transitioning off of TANF. … It concludes that states need additional child care funding.