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Pitfalls in the CCDF System. Mississippi’s policies make it difficult for qualified families to receive assistance with child care costs. MISSISSIPPI LOW INCOME CHILD CARE INITIATIVE 228-669-4827 www.mschildcare.org MISSISSIPPI CENTER FOR JUSTICE Based on research gathered Summer, 2007.

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pitfalls in the ccdf system

Pitfalls in the CCDF System

Mississippi’s policies make it difficult for qualified families to receive assistance with child care costs.

MISSISSIPPI LOW INCOME CHILD CARE INITIATIVE

228-669-4827

www.mschildcare.org

MISSISSIPPI CENTER FOR JUSTICE

Based on research gathered Summer, 2007

slide2

Data Collection

  • 503 Surveys Conducted
  • Central Mississippi PDD: 117
  • East Central PDD: 43
  • Golden Triangle PDD: 46
  • ICS: 130
  • North Central PDD: 30
  • Northeast Mississippi PDD: 6
  • South Delta PDD: 33
  • South Mississippi PDD: 90
  • Southwest Mississippi PDD: 8
slide3

Waiting List for Childcare Subsidies

  • 58% of daycare centers in the survey said they serve children who currently are on the waiting list for CCDF assistance

*Based on 434 daycare centers who answered the question.

slide4

Waiting List for Childcare Subsidies

  • These centers report a total of 1,827 children waiting for subsidies.
slide5

Waiting List Issues

  • Paperwork gets lost and parents get put on waiting list.
  • The waiting list is too long. When a spot does come open, the parents have either moved or dropped out of daycare because they can\'t afford childcare on their own.
  • Parents are continually told there are no funds available.
  • Districts don’t communicate with parents on waiting list.
  • Some parents think the system is trying to get rid of them by making the waiting list so long.
  • People on the waiting list a long time lose their jobs because they don’t have needed assistance for child care.
slide6

Parents Who Were Denied Childcare Subsidies

  • 60% of daycare centers said parents of children in their center have been denied subsidies

*Based on 421 daycare centers who answered the question.

slide7

Applications Denied

  • These centers report a total of 2,473 parents whose applications were denied.
slide8

Reasons for Denial

  • Not Enough Funds Available
  • Fulltime students have to work 25 hours to have high enough priority for certificates, and they can\'t handle workload as well as a job and a baby
  • Difficult to schedule 25 hours of work
  • Income slightly over limit
  • Applications lost
  • Child Support Application not submitted.
slide9

Reasons for Denial

Recently, a mother with three children was taken off work because of pregnancy. She couldn\'t afford day care by herself, but she was turned down for certificates because she wasn\'t working at that time.

slide10

Reasons for Denial

In one case, a mother was murdered, and the certificate was taken away. The children’s grandmother filled out the forms on the children\'s behalf but she could not get a certificate.

In several instances, certificates were denied when the father was in jail because he was not contributing child support.

Teachers lose certificates when school is out and have trouble getting back on the program when school starts back because of lack of funds.

slide11

Mothers Declining to Apply

  • 70% of daycare centers said mothers of children in their center haven’t applied for CCDF assistance because they don’t want to apply for child support

*Based on 390 daycare centers who answered the question.

slide12

Mothers Declining to Apply

  • These centers report a total of 1,509 mothers who haven’t applied for CCDF assistance because they don’t want to file for child support
slide13

Why not file for child support?

  • Many mothers have informal arrangements with fathers and don\'t want to "rock the boat." Some also say they\'ve heard DHS treats the fathers like dirt.
  • Father is in the home, and mother doesn’t want to put him on child support.
  • One mother who isn\'t applying because of child support is in high school. Her parents are paying for daycare and she doesn\'t want to get the father in trouble.
  • Many mothers don’t know where the fathers are--One woman’s father paid child support because she couldn’t find the child’s father
slide14

Why not file for child support?

  • Some people try to apply for child support but run into complications with DHS (rude, hassle, given run-around, only available one day a week until 4:00)
  • Some mothers prefer not to have the fathers in their children’s lives.
  • Attempts to get support are often unsuccessful.
  • Mothers don’t want to share child support money with State when formal child support case is filed.
slide15

Alternative to Child Support Case

DHS used to allow a parent to sign an affidavit stating that the father was contributing to the support of the children, obviating the necessity of filing a formal action.

slide16

Eligible Parents Who Haven’t Applied for CCDF Assistance

  • 70% of daycare centers said parents of children in their center haven’t applied for CCDF assistance despite meeting the income requirements

*Based on 430 daycare centers who answeredthe question.

slide17

Eligible But Don’t Apply

  • These centers report a total of 1,602 parents whom they believe meet the income requirements for CCDF assistance but have not applied
slide18

Why don’t Qualified Parents Apply?

  • Besides a reluctance to file for child support, there are other barriers:
  • Parents feel that application would be futile--poor working parents submit applications, but the district runs out of money and asks for paperwork again.
  • Many parents don’t know about the program, or they don’t know if they’d qualify.
  • Some parents aren’t working and need child care while they look for work.
  • Parents are wary of red tape, hassle, unfriendly district employees. Parents can’t take time off work to complete the paperwork.
  • Parents are constantly told there’s no money available and the waiting list is long, so they needn’t apply.
slide19

Mothers Who Dropped Out of the Program Due to the Child Support Requirement

  • 44% of daycare centers said mothers of children in their center dropped out of the program when the child support requirement was added in 2004

*Based on 396 daycare centers who answeredthe question.

slide20

Mothers Who Dropped Out of the CCDF Program

  • These centers report a total of 1,310 mothers who dropped out of the CCDF program when the child support requirement was added in 2004
slide21

Coordination Between Childcare and Head Start

  • 308 out of 489 (63%) Centers reported that they provide services for Head Start children
  • Only 16 have received any money from Head Start for these services
  • 64 attempted to partner with Head Start
  • Only 1 reported a successful partnership
slide22

Solutions

  • Put state money into certificate program
  • to serve more people.
  • Eliminate Child Support Requirement for
  • CCDF certificates.
  • Improve communication between districts
  • and parents about process and
  • requirements.
  • Put fulltime studentsin the first priority
  • category.
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