SACRAMENTO–California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) Tuesday won approval of her legislation to add diapers to the category of expenses that can be reimbursed for low-income parents who are enrolled in California’s welfare-to-work program. Assembly Bill 480 was approved by the Assembly Committee on Human Services with a vote of 4 to 0.
“Diapers aren’t optional for babies, and not having enough diapers can even keep parents from working because child care programs don’t generally provide diapers. For parents who are trying to make ends meet, the costs of diapers can be a barrier to holding down a job. By making diapers reimbursable for CalWORKS parents, we are removing a barrier to employment.”
Diapers are a major expense for parents, costing as much as $100 per child, per month. Lack of diapers can lead to a number of issues, including rashes and infections for children who are left in soiled diapers. Additionally, child care programs generally require a full supply of diapers be dropped off with the child, meaning that a lack of diapers can be a barrier to employment.
Under current state law, parents who are enrolled in CalWORKS, California’s welfare-to-work program, are eligible to claim reimbursement expenses for certain life needs, like costs associated with getting to and from work. AB 480 adds diapers to that list, providing significant savings for low-income parents.