Childcare Subsidies Lower in Missouri
And families are not the only ones suffering.
"The state pays about half of what it costs a family, what it costs us, to provide a quality program for the family's children, said Janet Lee of Columbia Montessori School. "Therefore, someone's got to take the loss and, consequently, it's usually the childcare facilities."
Missouri's annual income limit is $18,216, while Kansas has a limit of $29,772, and Hawaii has the highest at $47,124.
"Missouri has chosen to keep income eligibility lower in order to prevent a large waiting list," explained Deborah Scott of the Department of Social Services. "Some states have a much broader eligibility, meaning people with higher incomes can qualify for childcare. But, in Missouri, we want to keep the resources, which are limited, going to those who need them most."
Low-income families may also be limited when it comes to choosing childcare providers because not all providers accept state subsidies.