Archive: government shutdown

How the Government Shutdown Affected Kids and Moms

Mom Trusted reports on how the government shutdown affected kids and moms here:

 

The government shutdown affected kids and moms as it blew through the country, shutting down federally funded programs left and right on the first of October. Many federally funded Head Start programs, which offer free preschool to kids under five, ran out of funding at the end of September. Those that couldn’t afford to stay open through other channels of income were forced to send preschoolers home indefinitely. Head Start programs in Florida, Alabama, Connecticut and Mississippi were among those forced to close, hitting 3,200 preschoolers by the day after the shutdown.

 

The government shutdown affected kids and moms of all ages, not just those in preschool. Programs labeled “non-essential” were the ones forced to close with the shutdown. Among the many hit was the WIC, the Special Supplement Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. The WIC provides healthy food for low-income moms and moms-to-be with children under five years old.

 

Nearly nine million women and children participate in the program and receive an average monthly benefit of $45. By providing healthy food to children, the program hopes to cut medical costs in the future. For every $1 spent on WIC, the program will save over $4 in medical bills.

 

Many program workers and parents who depend on WIC argue that the program is the opposite of “non-essential.”

 

Sources:

-“Shutdown threatens nutrition for mothers, children” CNN Money: http://money.cnn.com/2013/09/30/news/economy/shutdown-wic/index.html

-“WIC support for moms, babies threatened during shutdown” CBS News: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57605501/wic-support-for-moms-babies-threatened-during-shutdown/

-“Low-income moms and infants will see support disappear in a shutdown” Think Progress: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/09/30/2701131/shutdown-wic/

-Photo courtesy of adamr/freedigitalphotos.net

Amber Alert Site Went Back Up After Taken Down During Government Shutdown

The government shutdown closed plenty of questionably “non-essential” government programs. Among them, the federally funded preschool program Head Start. When funding didn’t come through as expected on October 1, many of the programs scattered in states across the country were forced to close their doors. Parents across the nation were appalled, but not as appalled as when they saw the Amber Alert site had been taken down as part of the shutdown.

 

Amber Alert deals with alerts about abducted children. Although the system itself was never put on pause, the website did go down for a few days. Workers at the Justice Department said the event was a misunderstanding, blown out of proportion by the media. Officials said that after the funding was halted with the shutdown, they were no longer able to afford to pay enough staff to monitor the site. They thought it safer to put up a firewall to prevent any security issues.

 

The Justice Department pointed out that the site is not one ever used by law enforcement officials to help locate missing children. The Amber Alert system was never stopped, cut or interrupted at all. The website is only informational, meant to inform citizens of the department’s role. The Amber Alert system itself is more made up of outreach methods, including highway signs and tweets.

 

Despite all of these points, the website was restored shortly after it went down. After a wave of bad press and outraged parents spoke out about its unavailability, the Justice Department decided to reinstate the Amber Alert website.

 

Sources:

-Amber Alert: http://www.amberalert.gov/

-“After bad press confusion, Justice Department restores federal Amber Alert website” CNN: http://thelead.blogs.cnn.com/2013/10/07/after-bad-press-and-confusion-justice-department-restores-federal-amber-alert-website/

-“Amber Alert website brought back online after outcry” Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/10/07/amber-alert-website-brought-back-online-after-outcry/

-Photo courtesy of Clare Bloomfield/freedigitalphotos.net

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