Imagine being a parent needing day care for your children. You apply for subsidized child care, only to be told no funds are available. You are a working parent who needs to work. You have rent , food and utilities to pay. You have no family to help, as they all are working as well.
What do you do? Quitting your job is not an option. With Governor Corbett's proposed 24 million dollar budget cut to the Child Care Works supplement, this scenario will become a reality for the working poor.
The children will be watched by friends and neighbors who offer to help. The quality of care will not be the high quality of day care and licensed home childcare centers. There are no rules in effect for unlicensed baby sitters. Some unscrupulous people will begin to watch as many children as possible, without regard to children's safety. A tragedy will occur, as it did in my family.
My nephew Zackery was being cared for in a neighborhood home. The home was unlicensed, with many children being in care. He was sleeping in a room by himself without being observed. He was placed in a
prone position for sleep, even after Mom cautioned the sitter to only place baby on his back for sleep. He was found dead a few hours later. No one in the house knew CPR. A three month old healthy boy left this world too soon, leaving behind a heartbroken family. Another tragedy? The babysitter is still in business, watching infants and children.
Quality day care and licensed family care centers follow Department of Public Welfare regulations. Staff/child ratios are maintained, health and safety requirements are followed, and caregivers have education in the early childhood field.
Please, contact Governor Corbett's office, and your state senator and representative, to protest the cuts in care. I have, in memory of my nephew, and with hope that no others families will suffer a needless tragedy due to substandard childcare.
Laura SkurkaMickavicz Taylor