Tuesday, March 28, 2023


Nashville mourns six dead in the latest mass shooting, the EPA takes public input on a proposal to clean up Pennsylvania's drinking water, and find ways to get more Zzz's during Sleep Awareness Month.


A shooting leaves six dead at a school in Nashville, the White House commends Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to pause judicial reform, and mayors question the reach of state and federal authorities over local decisions.


Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

NM Child Advocates: "Fix the Cliff" with $20 Million in Federal Funds


Friday, May 11, 2018   

ALBUQUERQUE N.M. – Children's advocates say too many hard-working New Mexico families struggle with the "cliff effect" when trying to pay for child care and move up the income ladder.

The "cliff effect" can force parents to decline a pay increase, if it would push their income over 200 percent of the federal poverty level and end their childcare assistance. A new report from New Mexico Voices for Children says it generally means a single parent with two children would need about 20 percent more pay to be able to give up the assistance and still cover childcare.

Sharon Kayne, communications director with the group, says public benefits should help a family reach financial security.

"So that once they go off of the public benefits, they're doing much better,” says Kayne. “But in this case, there's actually a disincentive, because if you do just a little bit better, it throws you back into poverty."

The state's Children, Youth and Families Department held public hearings this week on how to spend $20 million from a federal block grant. Voices for Children says it should be used to "fix the cliff" and expand eligibility for childcare assistance. The CYFD has said it plans to spend the money on outreach.

Kayne says New Mexico has set its eligibility level at 200 percent of the federal poverty level for childcare assistance, while other states do more to help families advance.

"You know, it's surprising that as one of the poorest states in the nation, that we are not supporting our working families as well as many of the other states,” says Kayne.

According to Kayne, parents faced with the "cliff effect" who want a raise from the boss to propel their career forward, sometimes have to choose lower-quality childcare.

"Childcare is very expensive; it is more expensive than tuition at UNM,” says Kayne. “So, you know, these are generally young parents who are starting out, and they simply don't have the kind of income that allows them to either have high-quality childcare, or have one parent stay home and take care of kids."

The report shows a typical family of three can receive childcare assistance when they're earning about $40,000 a year, with childcare co-pays taking about 18 percent of their income. But if they earned one dollar more, all assistance would end, and childcare would require 38 percent of their paycheck.

get more stories like this via email

Black Americans are the most likely to suffer from insufficient sleep. (ChadBridwell/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

March is Sleep Awareness Month and health experts say Americans are not getting enough of it. United Health Foundation data found more than 32% of …


Environmental groups are seeking greater input as California puts the finishing touches on its application to become a hub for hydrogen fuel productio…

Social Issues

This month marks 160 years since the first Medal of Honor was awarded by President Abraham Lincoln. More than a dozen of the 65 recipients alive …

According to The Medal of Honor Museum and Foundation, 3,514 men and one woman have won the Medal of Honor in service of their country from the Civil War to the present day. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

160 years ago, Civil War soldiers were awarded the first Medals of Honor. Now, a Medal of Honor Monument will soon be built on the National Mall in …

Social Issues

The meat processing industry continues to face scrutiny over labor practices in states like Minnesota. Proposed legislation would update a 2007 law…

The average annual pay for a fast-food worker in the U.S. is $27,040 a year, or approximately $13.00 an hour, according to ZipRecruiter. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Mexican fast-food chain Chipotle will pay workers at its former location in Augusta, Maine as part of a settlement over labor law violations…


One Arizona mayor is among the more than 2,800 elected city officials in Washington, D.C., this week for The National League of Cities' Congressional …


Congress is considering three bills that would sidestep the Endangered Species Act to de-list the Northern Continental Divide and Yellowstone grizzly …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021