Child Care Aware of Washington joins our national children and family advocacy colleagues in denouncing the current federal administration’s proposal to expand the definition of “public charge,” putting the health and safety of millions of children and families at risk. We stand with all parents who seek to provide for their families and lead the way to a brighter future for their children.
Expanding the list of who can be denied citizenship and/or legal residency based upon whether a person accesses, or even may access, government assistance programs, will dramatically increase the number of children and families experiencing hunger, poor health and homelessness. It will also increase the number of very young children who have no access to licensed, quality child care, putting them at risk of receiving poor quality care during this important period of rapid brain development.
Decades of research have proven that young children who experience the trauma of homelessness, hunger, extreme poverty and poor child care face a lifetime of developmental delays that lead to poor outcomes, including reduced graduation rates and employment opportunities, and increased rates of teen pregnancy, addiction and crime.
America’s crucial social “safety net” of Medicaid, housing assistance and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), as well as access to quality, licensed child care, provide vulnerable families with the bare minimum necessities they need to become and remain productive citizens and strong members of our communities. All of America’s children deserve the very best start in life.
Once again, Child Care Aware of Washington calls for a return to human decency in our immigration policies and for a renewed focus on the importance and dignity of every child and family.