Some fear federal government cuts to children's programs - KCTV5

Some fear federal government cuts to programs benefiting children

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Lawmakers may have avoided a fiscal cliff for most taxpayers, but one group could still fall off a proverbial cliff.

Congress still has financial issues to resolve in the coming weeks.

Mothers who are considered working poor could lose valuable federal childcare subsidies that allow them to go to work.

"We're in jeopardy of staying in poverty, not able to make enough money to come out of poverty or we may not be able to work at all if we can't afford childcare," Denise Anderson said.

She said she is concerned that she and other people in similar situations won't be heard "just because we don't have the money that everyone else has" to get lawmakers' attention.

Anderson spent a year homeless before moving into Amethyst Place, a nonprofit organization that helps homeless women get back on their feet.

"With the deficit being so high, they are going to cut, and we don't know where those cuts are coming from," Anderson said.

According to Partnership For Children, Missouri faces a potential loss of $3.5 million from the federal Childcare Development Block Grant.

It might leave 1,791 children with nowhere to go while their parents juggle the responsibilities of full-time jobs.

"I think this year is probably more nerve-racking than previous years because things are pretty volatile in Washington D.C. I have a lot of my counterparts flying back to D.C. to find out what's happening to their programs," Kimberley Davis, executive director of Amethyst Place said.

Automatic spending cuts called "Sequestration" could affect non-defense discretionary programs and childcare subsidies if lawmakers don't act.

In Kansas, the Childcare Block Grant could mean working poor parents of 968 kids could have to scramble money together for childcare. The total funding at stake is about $1.7 million.

"I believe we're nobody's constituency. I mean, we're not funders, and some of our moms, because they've been homeless in the past, aren't even voters so we're not anybody's constituency," Davis said.

Davis believes services for children and the poor is a portion of the population lawmakers don't need to pander to leaving them the most vulnerable in funding cuts.

"If the women (don't have the help), then they can't get further along in their lives," she said.

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