PNS Daily Newscast - April 25, 2019 

The Supreme Court considers U.S. Census citizenship question – we have a pair of reports. Also on the Wednesday rundown: A look at how poor teacher pay and benefits can threaten preschoolers' success. And the Nevada Assembly votes to restore voting rights for people who've served their time in prison.

Daily Newscasts

Access Wanting in Bay State Pre-K

A new report says child care costs are out of reach for many families in the Bay State and the nation. (ChildCareAware)
A new report says child care costs are out of reach for many families in the Bay State and the nation. (ChildCareAware)
May 12, 2016

BOSTON – Wading through the paperwork involved in getting government help to pay for child care can be overwhelming to already overworked parents.

Now a new report by the Center for American Progress looks at how difficult it can be for low-income families to navigate an underfunded child care support system.

The study is called "Jumping Through Hoops and Set Up to Fail."

Amy O'Leary is director of the Early Education for All Campaign with Strategies for Children, an independent advocacy and policy group. She says the state does provide some public funding for pre-kindergarten, but most of it is tied to special education students.

"Most of our funding for early education and care in Massachusetts is federal dollars,” she points out. “And then often states overlay, kind of, state requirements on that. And sometimes it becomes, 'Is this what we have to do to get the funding? Or do we just kind of put this stipulation?'"

O'Leary says the report finds that in Massachusetts, early child care costs more than $15,000 a year for parents with an infant and about $12,000 a year with a four-year-old.

She agrees with a major report finding, that the nation really does not figure the true cost of child care.

She adds infant care in the Bay State can top $20,000 a year, according to research from Child Care Aware.

Judith Warner, a senior fellow with the Center for American Progress and the study's author,
adds that parents who qualify for assistance with child care expenses often aren't given a lot of help to navigate the system.

"You're dependent on people who may or may not lose your paperwork, and may or may not want to help you,” she points out. “And if things go wrong, your child loses a stable, good place in child care that brings them so many advantages."

The Center for American Progress report makes some recommendations, including less paperwork for parents and more child care funding.

Last fall, the group also proposed a High-Quality Child Care Tax Credit, worth up to $14,000 s per child, based on family income. The money would be paid directly to a child care provider chosen by parents.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - MA