If there is a point of agreement in the whole nasty mess of state government partisanship and funding feuds, it would seem to be that investing in kids when they are young is vital. Smart. Cost effective. Morally essential.
And yet …
Here we are with the state budget crisis continuing, with a whole raft of worthy social service agencies strapped and trapped in delayed funding for services provided and completely uncertain about what comes next in this charade of alleged leadership.
Very specifically, last week we reported on the direct hits local child care providers are already taking with state cuts — temporary for now but maybe permanent — to the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). This is a simple program that provides childcare subsidies for low-income families. It allows parents to go to work and it brings small kids into social and educational settings that will be to their benefit as they move toward school.
The levels of eligibility have now been diced so that, effectively, the working poor no longer qualify for help. How can this make sense? How can this be justified? And don’t offer up any rationalizing about being the unfortunate collateral damage in a necessary fight for the future of the state.
The future of the state is won and lost each day in how we care for our youngest, how we attempt to raise up those who have needs that we know we can ameliorate.
Enough already of the nonsense in Springfield. Neither the Democratic leadership nor Gov. Bruce Rauner have a claim to high ground. Compromise, problem-solve, take care of our kids before you continue the mud roll.