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Protest Over Proposed Cuts to Child Care Services

Adrianna Weingold

Protest Over Proposed Cuts to Child Care Services

CREATED Mar. 1, 2012

INDIO--Dozens protested outside the "social services building" in Indio Thursday over proposed state cuts to child care services. 

Governor Brown is proposing hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts to subsidized child care services across the state. Something parents and child care providers here in the valley say will have a devastating effect on families, and leave thousands of adults unemployed. 
Protesters too small to see over their signs stood along side their parents on Monroe Street in Indio, rallying to stop Governor Brown from slashing nearly $400 million dollars from child care services statewide.
"Everytime you turn around they want to pull the rug out," said owner of Thousand Palms Child Care Center, Sheryl Rhodes. "They get people to be productive in society and get them on the right path and then, oh no just kidding. It's like a tug of war."
The proposed cuts could be too deep for already struggling families like single mother Angela Alway, who relies on state funding to keep her 2 young children in daycare while she works full time.
"How do you get to work if you can't afford to pay the child care? You're working at night, it upsets the entire family structure and it really brings an unbalance to our community," Alway said.
Thousand Palms Child Care Center is one of the day care facilities that could close if Governor Brown goes trhough with proposed budget cuts, forcing the parents of more than 100 children who come here every day to make some very tough decisions.
"I can only imagine what's going to happen to those children, they'll be displaced with family members," said protester Kelli Murphy.
"The moms won't be able to work they will have to stay home with their kids and a lot of parents honestly will leave their kids at home and they'll go to work and they will be there without an adult," Rhodes said.
Since the state subsidizes or pays entirely for 85 percent of the children at Thousand Palms Child Care Center, funding cuts could force the center to close its doors. Something representatives from Social Services in Indio don't want to see happen, but they say the decision is simply out of their hands.
"People shouldn't have to struggle to find a place to take care of their children, and our goal is for our customers to be self sufficient and with these cuts it puts a lot more challenge to our customers," Israel Vasquez, a representative from the Department of Social Services said.
A challenge that mothers like Angela say is unrealistic and will end up hurting thousands of families here in the valley and statewide.