Rachel Barnhart has proposed adding 1,000 childcare subsidies. The city would work with Monroe County to administer the additional subsidies. These subsidies would supplement, not supplant, services already provided to city families.
“If we’re serious about reducing poverty, the city must step up the plate and help fund childcare,” Barnhart said. “We can do this by spending less than 2 percent of the city budget. It’s a matter of priorities.”
The cost of this initiative would be roughly $6 million, or $6,000 per child. Barnhart would reduce administrative bloat at City Hall and find other efficiencies to fund childcare.
“Lovely Warren has dismissed this proposal because of its cost,” Barnhart said. “We don’t need a mayor who say, ‘We can’t.’ We need a mayor who says, ‘We can and we better try.'”
Under Lovely Warren, the city has added $44 million in spending, with few results. Poverty and unemployment remain high. Families are struggling to make ends meet.
“Funding childcare is a practical solution, and meets a tremendous need,” Barnhart said.
According to the Children’s Agenda, only 22 percent of local families that need subsidies are being served. As a result, thousands of parents are unable to afford safe, nurturing childcare.
Barnhart would work with local experts and Monroe County to structure these additional subsidies to meet the greatest need. Barnhart would also talk to economic development agencies about encouraging and incentivizing companies to set aside funds for their employees’ childcare needs.
Barnhart was joined by Deborah and Myron Wright, owners of Grandma Knows Best Daycare. They often discount childcare services when families lose subsidies.