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Inability to afford child care keeps people out of workforce

Inability to afford child care keeps people out of workforce

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A hot topic recently has been the government unemployment payments and other subsidies that incentivize not working. I understand the dilemma businesses are facing, and I agree the government payouts play a huge role in the unavailability of workers.

Please consider and have compassion for low-wage workers who want to work, but have critical issues finding reliable and affordable child care, money to cover gasoline and trying to pay for repairs when their vehicle breaks down. All of these issues are real and make being a reliable employee of low-paying service jobs extremely difficult.

There are many people living on minimum wage in our community. Their reality is tough. If they work 40 hours a week at $9 an hour, their gross income is $360 a week, $1,560 a month, $18,720 a year. For most of us, that wouldn’t even come close to covering rent, utilities, transportation, child care and food costs. (In Grand Island, the cost for one child in day care at a child care center is about $180 a week.) Choosing between working and accepting government benefits really doesn’t leave much of a choice for the working poor.

Lazy, some people. Conflicted, many people. I propose that we withhold judgment until we understand all of the issues behind their choices. If the government can’t get it right, and they won’t, it is up to people in the private sector to offer reasonable logical support and solutions to incentivize low-wage earners to work.

Consider Galatians 25:22-23, the Fruit of the Spirit. As Christians we are called to have compassion for and help those in need. Please check out We have logical solutions to incentivize, educate and supplement the income of marginalized people right here in Grand Island.

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