Monday, January 25, 2010

Is Genesee County a good place for low income people to work?

I have gotten interested in how day care subsidies are administered in New York State when I realized that day care subsidies seriously affect GCASA's workforce and its clients, especially its female clients who, if a GCASA client, is parenting in her home is usually a woman.

It came to my attention that there is wide variability in day care subsidies from county to county for no rational reasons. New York is one of a handful of states that allows local social services districts to determine child care subsidies. So fo example a family of three living in Livingston County earning $36,620.00 per year would pay a family share of $1,831.00 for day care which is 5% of the household income, while the same family in Genesee County would pay $6,408.00 or 17.5% of its household income. This is a difference of %4,577.00 which is significant to the family. Such a person, of course, based on this one expense would be far better off to move out of Genesee County.

Only 11 out of 92 employees at GCASA make over $40,000.00 per year. 81 of the remaining employees average $26,500.00 per year. If they have children and would need a child care subsidy, they would be much better off living in Livingston County than in Genesee County even with commuting costs. These kinds of patch work policies make it difficult for GCASA to attract and retain a qualified work force especially when its salaries are already often very low.

This is article #1 in a series on working poor.

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