I am a single mother with three children. The only income my family has is the income that I bring in. For the last twenty years that income has come from running my own daycare, Playful Steps. I got my masters degree in early childcare education so because I was committed to providing top notch quality care to my families.
However, the state budget impasse turned my business upside down. One of the families at my daycare utilized the state childcare assistance program that allows low-income families to access quality day care facilities such as Playful Steps so the parents could work. When Governor Rauner kicked the family along with tens of thousands of other Illinois families off of the program. That one family sent six children to my daycare, without state assistance the family was forced to pull all their children out of daycare.
As a result of the state not paying it’s childcare bills I was not able to pay my bills. I became behind on my mortgage payments and other bills. Eventually, I was forced to make the painful decision to close my daycare. The state has since readjusted the qualifications for the childcare program but I can’t go back into the field that I love knowing at the whim of the Governor the qualifications can be changed back or the state can just decided not to pay me. I can’t tell my mortgage company that I’ve decided to not pay my bills. The state should not be able to tell me that.
While my family and the families I provided childcare services for continue to suffer under the budget impasse the state continues to dole out money to Wall Street banks. These banks are extremely profitable. They don’t need the money working families do.
Time to Get Our Money Back
Wall Street banks suckered the State of Illinois into risky financial deals that they said would us money. But instead of saving money the opposite happened. Since the financial crash, these financial deals have cost Illinois taxpayers more than half a billion dollars, while our state cuts vital services needed to keep our communities healthy and safe.
In other parts of the country these bad deals have been renegotiated but in Illinois politicians have refused to go after Wall Street banks. Instead Governor Rauner has chosen to cut from childcare, domestic violence, homeless shelters, and other vital services.