California Helps Parents During Job Search
Jan 26, 2009
Parents need stable child care in order to look for work. But, finding work can take longer than usual in today's economy. States determine eligibility for child care assistance, and many allow parents to qualify for help during a job search. Those that do, often limit the amount of time that parents can receive a subsidy while seeking employment.
California has temporarily suspended its time limit on job search for parents of young children through June 2009 (the end of the fiscal year), recognizing that finding employment during a recession may take longer than usual. Previously, the state restricted parents access to child care assistance during job search to 60 days.
The eligibility change applies to children participating in general child care and development programs (including contracted child care, full-day preschool, and migrant child care) who are below the age of school entry. According to the bulletin, "The purpose of this order is to ensure the continuity of early education services for California s low-income children during this period of diminished opportunity for employment in California."
Consistent child care arrangements can provide a secure environment for young children whose families are struggling more than ever to make ends meet and may be experiencing elevated stress levels. California's temporary policy change recognizes the dual importance of supporting the needs of both low-income parents and their children during tough economic times. Permitting families to qualify for child care assistance during extended periods of job search is one policy change states can make now to help parents maintain stable care.