Can't afford diapers=can't send baby to daycare=can't work?

by 2 November 15, 2011

I just saw this post on Babble about the proposed Diaper Act. According to the post, right now neither WIC nor food stamps can be used to help supply qualifying low-income families with diapers; the Diaper Act is proposed federal legislation that would amend the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990 such that it would permit agencies receiving federal funds for low-income families to decide if they want to spend some of that money on providing diapers for them. The post assumes $100 are needed per month to diaper a child in disposable diapers. I've seen estimates for this go as low as $65 a month as well. It would be great to see cloth diapering options figured into the bill as well, though! I realize that it's quite likely that a low-income family may not have a washing machine and dryer in their home or apartment and would have to go to a laundromat to do diaper laundry, which may not be possible. However, typically, diaper service costs are on par with disposable costs (sometimes they can even be less); if a family does have the ability to wash diapers at home and will use prefolds and basic covers, they can realize much more substantial cost savings. BUT, many daycare centers will not allow cloth diapers, another wrinkle in the plan. But more and more do (we once used a day care center that allowed us to send in our cloth diapers with a large wet bag and we just picked up the wet bag each night). And maybe some of the reasons that daycare centers don't want or feel they can't use cloth diapers could be addressed by these agencies; if there are health reasons, what are they and how can they be addressed to make cloth at daycare possible? Is it just time and convenience? What do you think about asking if cloth diaper subsidies could be part of the Diaper Act (or a future version of it)?



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