June 30, 2015
Budget gridlock could devastate state’s most vulnerable children who benefit from before- and after-school programs
Chicago, IL – Due to the government shutdown, many Chicago-area children may lose funding to attend day camp and after-school programs this year. Based on the YMCA's current families, the latest restrictions placed on the Child Care Assistance Program could mean that up to 75% of them would be ineligible for this funding. Additionally, all parents currently receiving CCAP funding will have to pay higher co-payments as of July 1, which might make child care too expensive for many of our working parents. This is particularly troubling at a time of year when children and youth are out of school and community violence is at its highest.
The YMCA has joined a coalition of 300 nonprofit organizations across Illinois to call on Governor Rauner and the General Assembly to work together to pass a fair, adequate and fully funded Fiscal Year 2016 budget before that date.
“What would losing CCAP mean for me as a single parent of two small girls? I’d have to quit my job because I cannot afford child care. . . It’s a huge relief knowing that while I’m working to support my family, my girls are in a safe place with caring staff who are dedicated to helping them thrive,” says Monika Krawczyk of Palatine, Ill.
The shutdown also stops funding for Teen REACH, which serves over 100 at-risk youth at YMCAs in the Logan Square, West Humboldt Park and Little Village neighborhoods.
Dayshawn Hunt, age 13, has participated in the Kelly Hall YMCA’s Teen REACH program for three years. He credits Teen REACH with providing positive activities that, quite literally, have saved his life and his friends’ as well.
“The YMCA provides a safe space for kids who really need it, alongside evidence-based mentorship and tutoring programs customized for the needs of each child. Without this critical state funding, many parents would not be able to enroll their children in quality programs—forcing them to either quit their jobs or leave their children unsupervised,” says Richard Malone, President and CEO, YMCA of Metro Chicago.
The YMCA urges supporters to join the Y and other community organizations at a rally today at 10 a.m. at the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago to show legislators that CCAP and Teen REACH are crucial to the well-being of our communities, as well as to the families who rely on these services.