The upcoming New Year should be cause for celebration. But for many families in our area, the approaching New Year comes with difficulty. As we reported a few weeks ago Social Services of Oneida County announced big child care cuts. Those living just above the 100% percent poverty line will stop receiving funding for daycare January 1st.
Denise Asencio is an employee of the Thea Bowman House, a child care service in Utica, where many of the children receive child care subsidies from the county. She is also a single mother of three. She has one child who will no longer receive the child care he needs because of the cuts. "I'm living at the poverty level I don't understand why I can't get this help," says Asencio, "for the families who are still struggling and trying to get our children to be more, to not have the same history that we have had, I have had in my past is just very difficult."
Her older children will now have to take care of her youngest son, giving up their own after school activities. Since we last brought you this story, Jane Domingue of the Thea Bowman House says some of the funding has been restored, sparing a few more families. But for many, like Asencio, the money isn't there. But Congressman Richard Hanna says there is an option. "The state has the option of allocating, and it's not pretty, up to 30% of the money that goes towards food, to re-allocate it for day care."
Despite the fact that some of the funds have been restored, and more could come in the future, come January 1st, there will be many families without child care services. And Asencio says her children along with so many others will truly suffer without having an environment, like the Thea Bowman House, to grow and learn in.