Senator John Broden is taking aim at making child care more affordable. He’s introduced a proposal to give more Hoosier families a chance at offsetting child care expenses while they work, attend training or return to school. Senate Bill (SB) 129 widens the range of incomes Hoosiers can earn to be eligible for the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) voucher program.
Under SB 129, a family of four could earn about $47,000 or less annually to apply for a CCDF voucher, up from about $30,000. The bill lifts the income ceiling for participation from about $40,000 annually for a family of four to $60,000 annually. Expanded CCDF eligibility gives more families a hand up on paying for child care and works to reduce the backlog of more than 3,500 children and families waiting for their chance.
The average annual cost of child care in Indiana reached more than $8,230 in 2013, slowing the Hoosier economy and forcing families to make tough choices. In some situations, a raise at work could actually be harmful to some families as the steep decline in child care assistance cancels out any increase in salary.
Committee hearing scheduled
The bill has been assigned to the Senate Committee on Family and Child Services and is scheduled to be heard Monday, February 9 at 10:30AM in the Senate Chamber.
[MAP] Child care by the numbers
The cost of child care hits low to middle-income Hoosiers hardest. According to an Indiana Institute for Working Families report, more than 1/3 of working families earn less than 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level or about $48,000 for a family of four. The same report noted that just 60 percent of single mother households with children under 18 participate in the labor force. For households with children led by single mothers, the cost of child care can be prohibitive. For a mother with two children under 18, the poverty line is $20,090 or about $1,600 a month.