TOMMY G. THOMPSON
State of Wisconsin
For Immediate Release Aug. 21, 1998
Contact: Kevin Keane (608) 266-8110
GOVERNOR ENCOURAGES TEEN MOMS TO FINISH SCHOOL
Adjusts child care co-payments so long as they attend class
MILWAUKEE Gov. Tommy G. Thompson today adjusted child care co-payments for low-income teenage mothers so long as they stay in school and meet their parental responsibilities.
Gov. Thompson said teen moms who need child care in order to attend school will pay no more than $3 to $5 a week for these services. The change makes sure these young mothers meet their dual responsibilities of caring for their children and getting their education.
"Teenage moms have a responsibility to care for their children and finish their high school education so they are better equipped to provide for their family," Gov. Thompson said. "By adjusting their child care co-payments, we are making sure teen moms meet their responsibilities as parents."
Gov. Thompson said the lower child care co-payments only apply to low-income teen moms if they stay in school and participate in case management. If teen moms leave school, they dont get the lower rate.
Under the governors proposal, minor teen parents living in families with incomes under 165 percent of the federal poverty level ($22,524 for a family of three) and who need child care services in order to attend school would be eligible for co-payments of not more than $3 to $5 a week. This co-pay compares to the $36 to $51 per week co-payments made by other W-2 participants, which is still a good deal for the very substantial services being provided.
Under W-2, minor parents who participate in Learnfare receive child care services with no co-payment and this policy will continue.
"Im concerned about teen parents dropping out of school and further complicating their ability to support their family," Gov. Thompson said. "I also feel very strongly that teens must meet their parental responsibilities by paying for part of the child care services they use. This proposal makes sure teen moms are moving toward self-sufficiency through a good education and a good job."
Gov. Thompson is making unprecedented investments in child care through W-2, as well as making sure the care is safe and reliable. Since 1996, funding for child care has tripled under Gov. Thompson to $180 million.
Gov. Thompson also has investment millions in eliminating the child care waiting lists and investing in safe child care provisions.
For six straight years, Working Mother magazine named Wisconsin as one of the top ten child care states in America.