Child Care Assistance Benefit Cliff Pilot discontinued
(ABC 6 News) – There was a lot of discussion about the Benefit Cliff Pilot Program at Tuesday’s Health, Housing, & Human Services Committee meeting. But troubling data collected during the application process made the county board reassess the program.
The county’s pilot program is meant to address the needs of Olmsted county families who need childcare assistance but still don’t make a livable wage.
The county calculates a livable wage by considering a number of factors — including family size and projected annual expenses.
The Pilot program which was approved last July by the Olmsted county board would distribute $500,000 to 25 qualifying families.
But data collected during the application process showed some troubling results.
Program Coordinator Mary Eicten said, “The person who was applying for it so the head of household, 50% of those families were white.”
This pie chart also showed that 35% of applicants were black families and just under 8% were Hispanic.
Because of these disproportionate results, officials at the health, housing, and human services committee recommended to the board not to move forward with the proposed pilot and the board agreed.
“One of the things that we need to make sure that we do as county government is not contribute to the disproportionality that we know exist within our system,” Deputy County Administrator Travis Gransee said.
Even though the board will no longer go through with the program, they said they learned much from this data.
There is a possibility they will revisit this in the future but nothing is immediate.