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Arizona lawmakers urged to approve $56M for child care for needy families

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PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is urging lawmakers to approve a plan to put $56 million toward expanding child care assistance for thousands of children.

In a Wednesday announcement, the governor’s office said half of the funds would go toward expanding the number of parents eligible to receive those subsidies, impacting an estimated 5,100 children.

The other half would be put toward increasing the average monthly child care subsidy rate by as much as 17 percent. That would affect about 39,000 children.

“These new dollars will allow more parents to work while ensuring kids are safely and properly cared for,” Ducey said in a statement.

“Helping families stay safe and strong is the right thing to do and will benefit our entire state.”

The proposal would aim to restore subsidies lost in the Great Recession.

“We lost a critical safety net, whether it was home visits, whether it was child care,” Daphne Young with the nonprofit Childhelp told KTAR News 92.3 FM. 

Providers could report potential child abuse or bring relief to parents struggling to keep their kids engaged and learning, Young said, adding she hopes the Legislature supports Ducey’s plan.

“We’re really adamant on having bipartisan support on issues that surround our kids and the safety and security of our kids,” she said.

The funding will be included in Ducey’s budget, which will be released on Friday, the governor’s office said.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Peter Samore contributed to this report. 

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