Tenn. could now have $1 billion in unspent funds for families, including $300M for child care
By Anita Wadhwani
A Tennessean review of how the state manages federal dollars intended to help working families shows that unspent funds could top $1 billion.
The state has not spent roughly $300 million from a federal Child Care and Development Fund that provides subsidies to working families, according to experts.
That’s in addition to the $732 million in stockpiled funding from the federal government known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF that is intended to lift parents out poverty.
Unlike federal funding for TANF – which Tennessee can save indefinitely – the federal child care funds have a “lose it or use it” provision. The child care dollars revert back to the federal government, which redistributes the money to other states using the funds…
…Spending on child care subsidies should increase when the economy is good, allowing more parents to work, national experts said.
“Ideally that’s the time states should be expending funds to help parents keep their jobs,” said Hannah Matthews, deputy executive director for policy at Center for Law and Social Policy, which advocates for low-income parents.
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