CHESAPEAKE Va,- Hundreds of families from across the country will gather on capitol hill today for Strolling Thunder.
They are asking for better opportunities for low income families from early childhood education to affordable child care.
Amber and Jershia along with their three sons Jaazaniah, Malachi and Zachariah live together in a small house in Chesapeake. Two of the three boys have disabilities and the family is considered low income. They say they are a family slipping through the cracks.
“I feel like low income family’s kind of get pushed to the back burner especially with child care. The city of Chesapeake does have a child care allowance but it is only to a certain extent and if we are both full time working parents one of our paychecks would solely be for childcare,” Moreno-Wells said.
Amber says as a low-income family there have been times they weren’t treated like people. She said they are happy to have a roof over their head but rent is high, the neighborhood isn’t safe and there is nowhere for the kids to play outside. Another matter they hope to bring to congress’s attention is opportunities for early education.
“My oldest son was on a waiting list for head start and it was just a really long wait and you would get bumped if another kid from a low-income family. We are a low-income family but if they have a different circumstance they will move higher up. It seems like Chesapeake and Norfolk they don’t have a lot of space,” Moreno-Wells said.
Her oldest son jazz has been bumped so many times on the waiting list for head start he has now passed the eligible age without ever being accepted. Now the Moreno-Wells family is taking their fight to DC. They will stand with families from every state to advocate for paid family leave, affordable, quality child care and investment in early head start.
“Just to keep congress aware that children are the future that we need to help grow them and help give them early education and the medical needs so that they can excel in life,” Moreno-Wells said.
Representative Bobby Scott will be speaking at mid-day for the Strolling Thunder event in front of the Capitol.