October 12, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Sharon Kayne, Communications Director, NM Voices for Children, 505-244-9505
ALBUQUERQUE—Most states are having trouble adequately funding programs that help low-income parents pay for the child care they need in order to work. However, New Mexico was the only state to reduce its child care assistance reimbursement rate this year, according to a study released yesterday.
The study, State Child Care Assistance Policies 2011: Reduced Support for Families in Challenging Times, concludes that New Mexico reimburses child care providers at approximately 40 percent below the market value.
“This means that a child care center that usually charge $750 a month will only get paid $422 a month if they agree to take a child receiving state child care assistance,” said Myra Segal, Deputy Policy Director for New Mexico Voices for Children. “The end result is that it is very difficult for centers to provide at-risk children with high quality care because centers have a difficult time operating their business at these low reimbursement rates,” she added.
A separate report released two weeks ago concluded that a typical child development center in New Mexico is losing more than $77,000 in revenue per year due to the state’s cuts. As a result, 10 percent of New Mexico’s child care centers have gone out of business, which has meant the loss of jobs and economic activity. That report, Early Education on the Brink, was released by Olé Working Parents Association and Early Educators United. Because of budget cuts, there are now more than 6,000 children on the waiting list for child care assistance.
“These two reports highlight a growing problem that affects far more than just working parents. Children who do not receive high quality care are far less likely to get the developmental support they need in order to succeed when they start school—and that has negative consequences throughout their entire lives. Society ends up paying more down the line in terms of higher school remediation and criminal justice costs,” Segal said.
State Child Care Assistance Policies 2011, released by the National Women’s Law Center, is available online at http://www.nwlc.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/state_child_care_assistance_policies_report2011_final.pdf
Olé’s Early Education on the Brink report is available online at http://www.olenm.org/node/763
New Mexico Voices for Children is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization advocating for policies to improve the health and well-being of New Mexico’s children, families and communities.
2340 Alamo SE, Suite 120, Albuquerque, NM 87106-3523; 505-244-9505 (p); www.nmvoices.org