May 20, 2013

The May 16 front-page article “Hurdles in D.C. child-care subsidy process” was timely and accurate, but it missed a critical point — namely, the harmful effects that uncertain, inconsistent and often inferior care can have on young children from poor families.

Infants’ and toddlers’ brains develop rapidly; their language learning and emotional control may be impeded if parents who must work resort to placing their children in unstable, non-nurturing environments. The District should be doing better by its children by providing sufficient numbers of child-care placements and subsidizing them more adequately.

Joe Collier, Springfield

The writer is a member of the board of directors of the Jubilee JumpStart child-care facility in the District.

The Post’s fine reporting on the impediments that the District’s low-income mothers face in trying to secure child-care subsidies revealed a major flaw in welfare reform, not only locally but also across the country. It is simply oxymoronic to expect these women to find and keep jobs or participate in educational or training programs without adequate, affordable child care — services they should be able to receive without having to jump the hurdles The Post documented so vividly.

It is heartening to see that Empower DC is addressing this problem and that the Department of Human Services is beginning to respond. They should remove the unnecessary red tape and increase funding as quickly as possible.

Sonya Michel, Silver Spring