Former Gov. Mitch Daniels' Newsroom

Contact: Jane Jankowski
Phone: 317/232-1622

For Immediate Release: May 3, 2006
State increases funding for low-income family childcare assistance

INDIANAPOLIS (May 3, 2006) ? Savings from better administration of welfare will be used to provide more low-income families with child care in the coming months. Governor Mitch Daniels announced today that the state has freed up an additional $18 million for 2006 and 2007 to help low-income families pay for childcare, eliminating the waiting list for childcare vouchers.

The additional money will provide care for 3,000 more children, a 10 percent increase, and will reduce the average wait time for vouchers from an average of 49 days to as few as 10 days, as funding is applied.

?A stronger state economy has put 85,000 more Hoosiers to work in the past 15 months. Meanwhile, we?re getting serious about moving people from welfare to work. Together that means more need for childcare vouchers, and we intend to meet it. People who are willing to work and become self-reliant must be helped to do so,? said Daniels.

The additional funds are from the annual Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant. Mitch Roob, secretary of the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA), said that as the state has improved its error rate by removing people who did not qualify for assistance, funds have been freed up for the childcare voucher program. For the remainder of this year, $6 million will be available; in 2007, $12 million is available for use.

Often, according to FSSA, working parents quit their jobs at the end of the school year to stay home with their children because they cannot afford childcare. More funding will turn that trend.

?Studies show that children of low-income families often start school a year and half behind their peers. By giving low income families access to high-quality early care, this gap can be narrowed. High quality childcare meets a child?s developmental, emotional, social and cognitive needs so that children are ready to start school. This early learning leads to future academic success,? said Roob.

Families qualify for childcare vouchers when a parent is working or attending school and the household income is at 127 percent of the federal poverty level ($15,670 per year for a family of three).

Beginning immediately, parents eligible for child vouchers on the waiting list will be notified by mail and asked to contact an intake agency. Included with the letter is a list of guidelines to help parents select the best childcare provider for their children, including questions about the quality of care both in terms of health/safety and developmentally appropriate activities.

Currently, 30,665 children in Indiana receive childcare vouchers.


Additional media contact:
Family and Social Services Administration, Dennis Rosebrough, 317/232-1149