With a likely shutdown of MN government fast approaching, Judge Gearin has drawn up some ground rules to fund core functions of the state. Core functions include state payments to schools & local governments, any program that is funded through the federal government, public safety and emergency services. Medical services, including most health insurance programs will also continue. Unfortunately, child care assistance payments will not continue during a shutdown.
Most child care facilities are small businesses that don’t have a financial cushion to use if the state doesn’t make its payments. As pointed out in the Strib, these centers may end up closing causing more small businesses to close. Another likely fallout are jobs lost when parents cannot go to work because they cannot afford to pay the full cost of child care.
A family of two loses eligibility for MFIP (welfare) at 115% of poverty – about $17K/year ($1,400 per month). I have multiple friends who pay more every month for child care than they do for their mortgage and $1,400 per month will barely cover rent and utilities in most areas in the metro. At this point, families are eligible for sliding-scale child care. I couldn’t find the current guidelines for the sliding-scale child care assistance. But I know when I moved here, I was not eligible for child care sliding scale and I made about $1,900/month. We can then estimate that families making between $1,400 and $1,900/month will likely lose their child care subsidies with the shutdown. I guess its lucky for them that applying for unemployment benefits will remain open during a shutdown.
(image from chimp planet)