Broken child-care subsidy process makes getting off welfare much harder

If you can make it past the first few paragraphs without banging your head on your desk in frustration, read the Post’s detailed look at the District’s maddeningly inefficient and insufficient child-care subsidy program. Things are about to get worse for parents as welfare changes loom (WaPo, 5/16):

This fall, the District will begin limiting how long families can stay on welfare to five years. Liberals and conservatives agree that affordable child care is essential in moving people off welfare and into jobs and in helping them keep those jobs.

But that goal is greatly complicated by the realities of the city’s child-care subsidy program — with its counterproductive system for receiving and renewing benefits, its inadequate funding for the subsidies themselves and the lack of child-care centers willing to accept the vouchers.

It’s utterly absurd that, in the digital age, a person would have to get in a physical line at 3:45 am just to have a shot at meeting with a case worker.

YOUTH | The Academic Pediatric Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics say that the effects of poverty on the health and well being of children are the most important issues facing American children. This is alarming, considering that the United States has one of the very worst child poverty rates in the developed world. A new task force is striving to develop comprehensive solutions to the problem. (WaPo, 5/15)

Related: Poverty as a Childhood Disease (NYT, 5/15)

Greater Greater Education poses a very interesting question: is a focus on college preparation for all students actually a bad thing? This is a great read. (GGE, 5/16)

– DCPS has set a goal of reducing the number of special education students who are sent to out-of-system schools. Their reduction strategy seems to be focused on stricter policies around identifying which students have legitimate special needs. (Examiner, 5/16)

PHILANTHROPY | Do you know about mission driven investing? In the Daily, Tamara writes about the Kellogg Foundation and how it is using investments in for-profit companies to achieve its mission. (Daily, 5/16)

GIVING | Everywhere you go, buildings, schools, hospitals, and so much more have names attached to them – frequently those of big donors. But how can public recognition reconcile with religious traditions that encourage humility? The New York Times explores the question. (NYT, 5/11)

If I ever win the lottery, which I plan to do with Powerball this week, I want to donate enough money to name institutions after fictional characters – like the Steven Quincy Urkel School of Science or the Willy Gilligan Institute for Marine Biology.

LOCAL | The Post created a nifty map that identifies date ideas near Metro stations. I’m not sure about the wisdom of relying on Metro to successfully deliver you to a date – especially on the weekends when the system basically stops functioning – but it’s still a cool map! (WaPo, 5/16)

British singer Laura Mvula is going to be huge. Check out her single That’s Alright – both the song and the video are fantastic.

Rebekah has the Daily tomorrow, so I wish you all a nice weekend. I will be attending six hundred different graduations – a consequence of having a big family, apparently!

– Christian