The District’s child-care subsidy is intended to help low-income parents keep jobs, set them on a path to independence and provide their children with quality care. But the process of getting and keeping the subsidy can be so brutally difficult that it often hinders rather than helps. As they wait for subsidies, recipients often lose jobs and miss college classes. Moreover, the District only pays only about 40 percent of what child care costs, one of the lowest reimbursement rates in the nation. Here’s a day in the life of Andria Swanson, a 23-year-old single mother.
May 6, 2013 Andria Swanson shops for groceries with her 3-month-old son, King Sellers, in the District. She has a Princess Tiana sticker on her face — a gift from her daughter, Kassidy Swanson-McElhaney, 2. Swanson is an advocate for improved access and funding for child care. “If you can replace bike lanes and dog parks, you can increase child care,” she said. Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post Buy Photo