Chalonda McIntosh doesn't often take the day off work. But she will tomorrow, when she'll head down to Springfield to protest cuts and funding shortages to the state's child care subsidy program for low-income families.
I talked to McIntosh back in November when I was doing a story about the lack of child care centers around the Cabrini-Green neighborhood where she lives. McIntosh sends her youngest son, Raleigh, to the St. Vincent DePaul’s child care center on North Halsted Street in Lincoln Park, and uses Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) vouchers to help her pay for it.
When I read about the proposed cuts and the announcement that the state can't pay providers for the rest of the fiscal year, I thought of McIntosh.
She told me then that she often racked up late fees at DePaul because she couldn't pay her portion of child care fees on time after paying her rent and her car. What would these cuts mean to her family?
An ugly downward spiral.