LA Debates Pay to Watch Your Own Kids

stay-at-home-momIf you’re a working parent jealous of the stay-at-home set, cover your ears. Out-of-work parents in Los Angeles may actually get paid to watch their own kids!

With the state’s finances an utter disaster (sorry, it’s true,) LA is discussing a plan that would provide childcare payments to thousands of parents currently on welfare. In other words? They wouldn’t have to work, but they’d get money as if they were sending their kids to daycare.

The plan was hatched to answer cuts in the welfare-to-work benefits for state residents who get childcare subsidies so they can work. County officials say they will actually spend less by paying parents to stay home with kids six and under than they would if they provided both the welfare-to-work benefits AND childcare subsidies.

Except, I’ve always been a fan of welfare-to-work programs because they provide incentive to families along with the means to actually get a job. It’s easy to point a finger at an unemployed parent for not working, but without means to actually get out of the house and work (no help affording childcare being one of the biggies), they are stuck in a Catch 22. This new program might be cheaper, but it’s entirely counter-productive.

Instead of enabling parents to develop the means to provide for their families, it will make them that much more dependent on the system. Not to mention the inequity of paying one set of Americans to stay home with their kids while the Family Medical Leave Act sends new mothers back to work during the crucial early weeks of a baby’s life because they aren’t afforded a similar option.

Do you think this is a good idea?

Image: More4Kids

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