After Governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker unveiled his new budget, one has to take some time to find their way through the numbers and such to see what is going to be cut and who will pay. Those least likely to be able to advocate for themselves will be the first to see the painful reality of this budget.
The Children and Families segment of the budget states five specific outcomes for that department.
1. Children are nurtured, safe and engaged.
2. Enhance prevention and early intervention efforts throughout Wisconsin.
3. Families will have access to quality early care and education.
4. Parents will secure and maintain meaningful jobs.
5. More fathers will be engaged in the lives of their children.
Well, that is quite a mission statement. Funding for this mission is not only being cut on the Federal level, the governor has the state cutting it’s share of the program as well. How to get to his budget numbers? Reducing the manpower required for the job, reducing the pay for those who are left, and reducing benefits to Families and Children. Recommended cuts also include cuts to emergency funding to needy families by $20.00 an event, and reducing payments to all Child Care Center.
You may not know that Child Care is coded, and they go by 1*, 2*,3*,4* and 5*. This would reflect a private care situation that you might need for a special needs child to a full out Day Care center. The recommended cuts to each center will cut available child care enormously. Without child care, who is going to be able to work? This definitely is counter-intuitive and unproductive thinking.
I truly do understand that budgets have to be balanced, and that we cannot afford some things. Still, to cut aid to families and children? Is that where we really want to start balancing our budget?