California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

Filler ad

There’s No More Money For Child Care Services

Obtaining a college degree can be a daunting task for any student, especially those who are raising children.

This week, the challenges facing CSU East Bay students and parents may become even greater.

On October 8, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a $256 million budget appropriation for CalWORKs Stage 3 Child Care.

The veto froze all funding for the 12 year old program, which offers child care subsidies for 30,000 California parents who are transitioning to work or school after receiving welfare.

Hours after the veto was put into effect as part of the greater 2010-11 California state budget, Schwarzenegger called the cuts “ugly but necessary.”

Although 55,000 children were scheduled to lose support on Monday, Alameda County Judge Wynne Carvill issued an injunction on October 29 that ordered the California Department of Education to extend Stage 3 funding through November 5.

The court will hold a hearing on November 4 to determine whether the budget cuts were legally implemented.

“This has created intense stress,” said Angie Garling, who serves as the Child Care Coordinator for Alameda County. Garling and her colleagues have been stuck in limbo as they wait for the elections of Nov. 2 to pan out and Judge Carvill to reach his decision.

Meanwhile, the state of Alameda County’s child care and educational services are suffering. Not only has Garling’s department suffered budget cuts of $300,000, local school districts are on the verge of collapse— “Hayward Unified may never recover.”

California State Senator Darrel Steinberg of Sacramento has stated that the Governor’s veto will “force parents to quit their jobs by eliminating childcare programs.”

Steinberg is actively trying to reverse the budget cuts. As Senate President Pro Tem, Steinberg is joined by State Senators Loni Hancock of Berkeley and Ellen Corbett of San Leandro in protest of the veto, but does not have the two-thirds majority needed to override it.

“The Governor used his blue pencil to attack California’s working poor families,” resonated State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell, adding, “The veto undermines the efforts of working families, primarily single parents with one or two children, to become and remain self-sufficient.”

Removed from the political bickering of Sacramento, CSUEB student Samone Phaphon is being affected by the child care cuts on a far more personal level.

Phaphon is raising her two and three year old children while balancing a part-time job with a full-time course load. “We are down to only two days left for childcare,” said Phaphon last Wednesday.

To make matters worse, the father of Phaphon’s children is also a full-time student. “If we do not get any help from any other program or if the funding is not restored, one of us will have to drop out and stay home with our kids because our schedules do not allow both of us to take turns watching the children.”

If Samone is forced to choose between her children and her education, she will have no choice but to drop her classes mid-quarter.

In the past, CSUEB’s Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC) has been able to provide subsidized child care for students in need of financial aid.

According to Family Advocate Divier Wallace, California state budget cuts have already resulted in the closure of 30 spots in total among the Center’s preschool, infant and toddler

Lisa Tolles, Site Manager of the ECEC, told The Pioneer that the waitlist set up to accommodate the back log of students looking for child care has been rapidly filling up.

Fortunately for the Center, much of the funding for its “Head Start” program comes from the federal government and has not been affected.

Phaphon, who is among the CSUEB students who have been denied by the ECEC, sees herself as just one of the “60,000 families throughout California being affected.”

Other child care options have also been affected.

This summer, the Oakland Unified School District closed seven of its Childhood Development Centers in anticipation of the budget cuts which were decided upon in October.

According to Wallace, at “other state programs we know, a lot of teachers were laid off.” At Phaphon’s previous child care provider, they “just laid off seven of their employees
and cut 3,000 families from the program.”

Now that Phaphon is facing a crisis which might end her studies here at CSUEB, she continues her support of the CalWORKs program, “This program is not a welfare program, it’s helping working parents, especially single ones who continue to fight for a better life for their family.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Pioneer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Activate Search
California State University East Bay
There’s No More Money For Child Care Services