Would you pass on a pay raise to keep your children in child care?
That's the choice some families have to make, but a new bill in the state Assembly may change that.
AB 60 would update the "income eligible" definition, allowing more families to receive and keep state child care services.
Currently, families receive child care services based on whether their monthly income is at or below 70 percent of the state's median income, but for the 2007-08 fiscal year. The new law would instead base it on the most recent state income data published by the U.S. Census Bureau.
"That doesn't make sense, we want people to be self-sustaining and that includes being able to take a little bit of a raise at work and keeping their child in child care," Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego), who co-introduced the legislation, said.
According to 2015 U.S. Census Bureau data, under the new definition, a family of three making almost $52,000 a year would qualify for child care services.
Right now, that figure is capped around $42,000 a year for a family of three.
Moreover, Virginia Early, a policy analyst with the state's Legislative Analyst's Office, said families would be able to keep child care services until they make about $63,000 a year under the new legislation.
"This will definitely help the families that need it the most," said Tracey Strack, Executive Director of Child Action, Inc., a child care resource nonprofit in Sacramento.
Strack noted that outside of housing, child care is the second biggest expense for families.
The legislation made its way through the Assembly's Committee on Human Services Tuesday afternoon. Next up is the Assembly's Committee on Appropriations.