The Gov. recommends Parson’s child support tax program to solve the problem of child support

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The child care problem in Missouri is now a priority for Governor Mike Parson.

Parson delivered his State of the State address on Wednesday where he proposed three new childcare programs.

The proposal comes as families struggle to find affordable child care, while grappling with labor shortages.

One Kansas City area mom’s search took six months before she found anything in her budget. However, it means moving 30 minutes from Overland Park to Basehor.

Eleven month old Ezra is all smiles in his care. But mom Morgan Reed said it took months to find an affordable option without a long waiting list.

“He likes taking care of children,” she said. “Some of these foster homes cost $1700 to $1800 a month for just one child. That’s more than my house and car payments combined.”

The problem affects families on both sides of the state line.

“To help address this issue, we are proposing three new child care programs,” Parson said Wednesday.

These programs will improve child care facilities, help employers who support their child care workers and provide a pay increase to many child care workers.

Parson is also asking for $56 million to expand pre-K options and $78 million to increase child care costs.

“We know that childcare is still a struggle for many parents and businesses,” he said.

Wendy Doyle is the CEO and president of “United WE,” an organization that works to advance women in the economy.

“We lost about 400 daycare centers in the state of Missouri due to the pandemic and no plans to reopen,” Doyle said.

They have spent the last two years looking at the child care problem. After a survey from last summer, “United WE” made a hostel with mothers and babysitters, listening to their struggles.

“For a single mother, sometimes it can take more than a third of her income to pay for child support,” Doyle said.

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He said, it will take a lot of time to build Missouri’s infrastructure before it can improve child care. It’s something that doesn’t come quickly for moms like Reed.

“Money is a heavy burden on the shoulders of many people,” said Reed.

Her advice to other mothers is that it’s not too early to start looking for a childcare center. One of his friends is looking now but is seeing nine month waiting lists.

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