Budget ax falls on Chico

Cuts force Valley Oak Children’s Services into layoff mode

The delayed California budget, approved 100 days into the fiscal year, has left Valley Oak Children’s Services intact, but not without injury to the program.

According to Karen Marlatt, Valley Oak executive director, the agency will lay off seven staff and cut child-care funding for 350 Butte County families, leaving 650 local children without child care starting Nov. 1, according to a press release.

The funding cuts target parents in the final stage of CalWORKs’ “welfare-to-work” program, who have not received cash aid for 24 months or more. “These are working families who only receive child-care assistance in order to move toward complete self sufficiency,” Marlatt said in an e-mail.

Milta Aguilar-Tuel, who was featured in the Oct. 7 CN&R Newsline “No budget, no payment,” said her small daycare will remain open because she doesn’t serve any affected families.