DES MOINES, Iowa -- "It was heartbreaking. I was fearful that I would have to quit my job and stay at home and then I`d have no way to pay my bills. Daycare was literally going to cost me my entire paycheck."
Kelly Dejoode says getting a raise at work nearly forced to her quit after that small increase meant she was ineligible for state funding to help her pay for childcare. Now she's working with United Way of Central Iowa to ask lawmakers to keep the same thing from happening to others.
On Thursday, United Way held its annual legislative priority breakfast in Des Moines. The non-profit says in 2019 their top priority will be keeping parents from going over what they call the "childcare assistance cliff." They say state law makes parents ineligible for funds when they witness incremental increases in their paychecks. They say the solution is raising the threshold for eligibility.
"What we've seen is that because the eligibility threshold is so low, people who receive a 10-15-20 cent per hour raise lose those benefits and are stuck in a choice where they make a little more money in pay but not enough to cover the actual cost of childcare," says David Stone with United Way of Central Iowa.