PNS Daily Newscast - February 28 2020 

Coronavirus updates from coast to coast; and safety-net programs face deep cuts by Trump administration.

2020Talks - February 28, 2020 

Tomorrow are the South Carolina primaries, and former VP Joe Biden leads in the poll, followed by winner of the first three contests, Sen. Bernie Sanders and businessman Tom Steyer. Some Republican South Carolinians may vote for Sanders because they want closed primaries.

Including Kids in the Economic Stimulus Plan

December 22, 2008

Minneapolis, MN – President-elect Obama now says he's considering a two-year stimulus package of $775 billion to help jump start the economy. Children's advocates say some of that should be spent to increase the nation's investment in affordable child care.

James Carlson, director of public policy for Minnesota-based Child Care Works, says the approach would save and create jobs, and get children ready to learn.

"It would help poor families and moderate-income families afford quality childcare and remain employed. But, it also would keep a very big industry in most states, which is the child care industry, afloat and working."

Improving child development programs, adds Carlson, would have an immediate, positive impact. Right now, he says, there's a long and growing list of families who could use the help.

"Around 6,000 families are looking for child care assistance, and they're on a waiting list across Minnesota. At the beginning of the year, it was less than 4,000, which does not count the folks who have given up trying to wait for it."

The economic recovery package should include $3 billion each for child care and Head Start, Carlson recommends. He adds that would allow states to provide assistance to over 600,000 children participating in the programs, and create over a quarter million jobs.

Increasing the grant to Minnesota by only $10 million, he notes, would serve another 1,000 families. But many families eligible for reimbursement still struggle, with the cost of quality care reaching $12,000 a year.

Jim Wishner, Public News Service - MN