This updated fact sheet for The Cliff Effect: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back sums up the report's basic message about how the sudden loss of benefits like child care assistance--called the cliff effect--can act as a disincentive for hard-working families trying to lift themselves out of poverty. Also includes policy recommendations for mitigating the cliff effect. (State-level data on the child care assistance program)
Updated Report How can a $1 raise in pay throw families into poverty? When they are at the ceiling for child care assistance eligibility, a tiny raise can mean they go from paying 18 percent of their income on child care to 38 percent. Work supports like child care assistance should help families achieve economic stability. But the sudden loss of benefits--called the cliff effect--can have the opposite effect. (State-level data on the child care assistance program)
As a recent college graduate returning to my home state after four years, I feel grateful to be able to celebrate Father’s Day with my family this summer. We devote time every year to celebrate our parents and all that they do for us because, as Americans, we value family. But this Father’s Day, I cannot help but think about the current immigration policies that are tearing young children away from their moms and dads and ignoring the importance of family.
Many great organizations, both state agencies and nonprofits, are hard at work addressing the major components of child development and care. Organizations such as New Mexico Kids, Farm to Table New Mexico, the Brindle Foundation and New Mexico Voices for Children address a wide range of issues, such as early childhood education, food security and safe neighborhoods.
“Everyone says that our children are our most important asset, but it doesn’t really mean much if you’re not putting your votes behind the programs that really make a difference,” he said.
Like Bill Jordan, senior policy adviser for New Mexico Voices, said, “It’s all about fostering local connections and finding out what’s working, what’s not working, and helping to make changes.”
“The Kids Count data is a resource to tell you how your kids are doing,” Jordan said. He said data filters, like looking at statistics by school districts, are easily plugged into data searches to fit various statistical needs. The goal is to get the most accurate data possible, he said. Participants included families—many with children—community organizers, and professionals in the health care industry. Supper was served while discussions took place.
"Childcare is very expensive; it is more expensive than tuition at UNM,” says Kayne. “These are generally young parents who are starting out, and they simply don't have the kind of income that allows them to either have high-quality childcare, or have one parent stay home and take care of kids."
“Many families that are faced with the cliff effect have to make terrible choices,” said Armelle Casau, PhD, who co-authored the report. “Some turn down a pay increase, while others have to rely on a lower-cost—which usually means lower-quality—child care situation. Work supports should be designed so that they help parents succeed.”
Report New Mexico has a long and proud history of cutting-edge innovation in many fields, so making progress on child well-being is within our reach if we fully commit to it. This report lays out the ways in which we can move the needle on child well-being by enacting smart public policies. (A special KIDS COUNT report; state-level data on indicators of child well-being)