Working Connections and Seasonal Child Care allow tens of thousands of parents like Cambria Silva de Jesus to go to work every day to support their families. When good jobs are scarce, and economic hardship is rising, this child care assistance is critical for Washington’s families.
For Cambria, Working Connections Child Care assistance has provided stability in hard times for her and her kids, Omar, 9, and Sayre, 2 (pictured right). Consistent support from Working Connections has made it possible for Cambria to find and keep permanent, full-time work, do well to support her kids, and be assured that her children are getting care while she’s hard at work.
“I am striving every day to make a better future for my family,” she says.
Over the years, Cambria worked hard to increase her hourly pay from minimum wage to $14. But every day, Cambria, Omar and baby Sayre still struggle.
In 2009, their beloved husband and father, Carlos, died tragically in a highway accident. “I’m carrying this all by myself,” says Cambria of her struggle to hold her family together.
Basic expenses are a fight day-to-day, and month-to-month, says Cambria, who bends over backwards to pull everything together from a variety of sources, including clothing bin donations, regular nonprofit assistance from Hopelink, dramatically reduced basic food stamps, and frequent trips to the food bank.
With living costs still high, and the added cost of Cambria’s Working Connections co-pay doubling this year from $104 to $208, Cambria took a small pay cut to stay under eligibility guidelines and keep her child care for her kids.
“My daughter looks forward to going to her child care center every day,” Cambria says. “She can sing all her ABCs. She can count to 10. Not a lot of two-year-olds can do that. I have been really thankful to my provider, and it’s a second family for Sayre.”
Cambria, Sayre, and Omar must now face the prospect of losing Working Connections, when it’s something they have counted on to provide family stability and safety in the hardest of times.
Early this week, Gov. Chris Gregoire released a budget with a major cut proposed to Working Connections and Seasonal Child Care. Help protect child care for tens of thousands of working families like Cambria’s by signing our petition to our lawmakers to balance the budget with new solutions.