In previous episodes we’ve covered the challenges facing working parents seeking affordable child care, the struggles facing providers themselves, and how the pandemic has complicated things even more.
“The big challenge I think we’re facing is that a lot of families have pieced together care with family friends and neighbors during this time and they may continue it throughout the summer,” said Deeann Burch Puffert, CEO, Child Care Aware of Washington. “If you’re scraping by and you can trade favors, that’s what a lot of families do.”
The head of Child Care Aware of Washington joins us to talk about a range of topics including where informal arrangements cross into murky legal territory.
“The challenge is that if the care is being provided with a group of kids at a home and it’s regularized and any payment is happening, that is illegal care,” said Puffert. “Let’s say a friend of yours was going to come over and care for your children in your home and along with their children, in your house, and you wanted to pay them something – that would be legal. It’s when you take the child to a neighbor’s home where several other children are coming from various other families that become illegal care.”
She also weighs in on the impact of reopening schools, what to expect in the fall, and the legislature’s plan to make child care more accessible.
Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz also joins us for an update about a big funding proposal in the legislature.
The head of DNR wants to hit more fires from the air and carve out safe zones around communities To do it, she is pushing for a plan to $67.5 million a year boost in funding to accelerate forest health, wildfire response, and community resilience efforts.
“We are now going to be investing in those communities at the highest risk to help make every home every neighborhood and create the field breaks around that community stop fire before it hits their doorstep,” said Hilary Franz, Commissioner of Public Lands.