Created: 12/05/2013 6:31 PM WHEC.com
By: Joangel Concepcion
Child care is one of the top expenses for working families. News10NBC has learned that hundreds of struggling families in Monroe County may be forced to make a difficult decision. Monroe County Legislatures are discussing the budget for next year Thursday night. Officials say child care is a priority, but officials say they were forced to make some tough cuts.
Faith leaders in our community say thousands of people in our area care about this issue and they want to see their taxpayer dollars going towards it.
Rev. Alan Newton, Executive Minister, ABC Rochester, said, “There are choices to be made. It's a very large budget and those cuts are painful everywhere. But why balance the budget on the backs of the poor?”
Advocates not only want the $1.3 million to be restored to the budget, but they are asking for another $600,000 on top of that. They say they know first hand how detrimental this will be to families, like Mary Lupien and her 2-year-old daughter. Lupien is a computer programmer who can't afford daycare with her part time salary. The daycare subsidies have helped her keep her job. Without it, she worries for her little family and what it may mean for our area.
Mary Lupien said, “I think the kids are worth it. I don't think there is anything else worth spending our money on than our children. They are our future and in terms of spending if we don't spend the money on our kids now, we will be spending it later when these kids don't come out well adjusted and they don't come out of the system.”
Monroe County officials say a lot of budget money is going to mandated services throughout the county. It has the second highest obligation to daycare in the state and they are putting in more than they are supposed to into the daycare program.
The budget will be voted on Tuesday.