/Reeves advised to remove child support requirement

Reeves advised to remove child support requirement

A group of governor-appointed early child care administrators voted on March 3 to recommend that Gov. Tate Reeves’ Department of Human Services removed this barrier for families. While Mississippi leaders are known for their family-centered values and strong leadership, advocates and working mothers say that the state’s child support requirement can lead to animosity among parents because the agency interferes with the financial arrangements of the parents. In Mississippi Today’s 2020 series on child support, a single mother said that it was like inviting someone else into your home. One mom may have made a deal with her father, but she will need to turn her child support case to the state in order to get the federal voucher. The state will seize and withhold child support funds if the mom has received cash welfare in the past to repay it. (Most low-income custodial parents who apply for public assistance are women. This is why we refer to them as single mothers. They try to make the woman the policeman in their division by placing the father under child support. It is not her job to do this. Theophilus King, the owner of Christian Mission Learning Center Jackson, told Mississippi Today last summer that she did not create this rule. “They’re trying drive a greater wedge among the two people.” The welfare agency also pays a contractor to run this service. However, privatization has been shown in some cases to be less efficient, according to a report from a legislative watchdog. The Mississippi Department of Human Services made recent strides to increase benefits for families in need and create an easier safety net in a state that is known for its harsh public assistance policies. It convinced the Legislature that it would increase the monthly cash welfare amount to $90. In addition, it created a $100 “pass-through” to ensure that child support money is not intercepted by the state. Additionally, it sent out 1,000 supplements to welfare recipients in December. Agency officials were mum on the subject of child support. Until now. Carol Burnett, the founder of the Low-Income Child Care Initiative has been advocating for the removal of this rule for many years without much support from the state. She stated that she was thrilled and surprised when the State Early Childhood Advisory Council brought up the topic. All members expressed support for removing the requirement which is currently enforced by only 13 states. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least nine states have eliminated this requirement since 2018. This will allow single-parent-headed families to get child care. Single parents will also be able to go on to work more easily by removing this obstacle. We know that Gov. Burnett stated that Reeves does care about Reeves. “… This will make life easier for many parents who have struggled in the past.” Since 2004, Mississippi has enforced the child support requirement under its child care program. The same rule is enforced by the state for food assistance even though it’s not required by federal law. Burnett and others have criticised the department for not approving child care voucher applications in a timely fashion. The child support requirement may have caused some delays. The program only serves a small fraction of children from low-income families each year. Under the American Rescue Plan Act, MDHS was granted $200 million more to help families. Mississippi Today asked Chad Allgood (director of the Division of Early Childhood Care and Development in MDHS) last year if he would reconsider removing the requirement. He replied, “It is agency policy.” This is all I can tell. Allgood assisted with the March 3 council meeting. He stated that he and other child-care administrators had studied the child support rule and decided it should be eliminated. “We have had discussions with Holly Spivey, Gov. Allgood stated that Reeves’ education adviser discussed approaching the governor to make this recommendation. “We feel it would be a powerful statement for SECAC that this recommendation is made.” The council voted unanimously. Multiple requests from the governor’s office for comment regarding his plans with regard to the recommendation were not returned by him. “I believe that the Child Care Development Fund (childcare voucher) offers Mississippi the greatest potential of any government program,” Andrea Sanders, Commissioner of Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services. Sanders oversees the state’s foster care program for children who have suffered abuse or neglect. SECAC’s executive director is Sanders. Sanders is also the executive director of SECAC. This is how you can stop violence in the home. Sanders stated that he was a strong advocate for the removal of child support. The controversial history of the State Early Childhood Advisory Council was established by law in 2007 during the reauthorization Head Start. The board, which is located under the governor and comprises governor-appointees is subject to political whims. Former Gov. Phil Bryant’s work was erased from the internet. Phil Bryant’s work, for instance, has been erased from the internet over the past two years. The council assists in the development of state plans for programs such as the Child Care Development Fund, a federal block grant that finances the Mississippi Child Care Payment Program. The council was chaired by a Mississippi State University data scientist. It created a controversial new child care center quality rating system, and an improvement plan. This plan was never fully implemented. The plan required centers to work with the Mississippi Community College Board in order to train their staff. Child care centers claimed that council members ignored their suggestions to build an effective program. SECAC was at that time working closely with NSPARC (a research center established by Mimmo Parisi, a data scientist), which received millions of dollars from Bryant’s state agencies. However, it has fallen out favor with political leaders. Advocates and child care providers have complained for years about the lack of communication between the council and state early-childhood administrators. Recently, the Mississippi Department of Human Services gave $5 million to Mississippi State University Extension Service to create a new early child care curriculum that can be used by child care centers. Advocates and child care centers remain skeptical about the direction of the state’s early childhood programs, but they believe the recent vote by the council could signal an earnest effort to create policy recommendations that are based on low-income working parents’ needs. Deloris Suel of Prep Company Tutorial School, Jackson, said, “I would support the initiative and hope that it would open up communication between parents, childcare providers, and the governor’s offices.” “This is a much better first step than any governor we have gotten since the enactment of this law.