If they can't find affordable childcare they will lose their jobs, they'll lose that income. We hear from families right now that are calling us saying they're going to lose their homes, they're going to be homeless" said Karen Marlatt, Valley Oak Chirldren's Services Executive Director. It isn't good news for everyone even though lawmakers have come up with a budget plan. While most organizations and non-profits who rely on state funding can breath easier knowing money is on it's way, some are now facing an even smaller spending allowance. Valley Oak Children's Services of Butte County learned late Friday night, it won't be receiving the 2.5 million dollars it relies on. "We're going to be in some uncharted nasty waters" explained Marlatt.
Before signing the budget Friday, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed nearly one-billion dollars in spending which had been allocated to welfare, child care, and special education programs. That decision will leave nearly 80,000 children in California who receive government assisted childcare known as stage three childcare, out in the cold. 650 of those children live in Butte County. "This definitely can make or break a family and it's gonna raise our unemployment rates again" said Marlatt.
Valley Oak Children's Services could also be forced to lay off 7 full-time employees who work with stage three families. While that will devastate the organization and make providing services more difficult, it's the families who will suffer most in the end. "Without stage three funding right now, I'm looking at possibly losing my job and without a job I wouldn't be able to have a place to live and provide for my children" said Candi Marsicano, a mother who uses assisted childcare. Rebecca Moralez, who also uses the program adds "I'm hit with that reality that, here goes my child again being forced to carry the burdens that have been no choice of her own".
Providers like Valley Oak Children's Services are currently looking for a way to have the governor's decision vetoed, so families who rely on government assisted child care won't be forced to pick up the tab.