THE BOTTOM LINE
- Safety-net programs such as the Food Stamp Program and WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children) do not cover the cost of diapers.
- An adequate supply of diapers can cost over $100 per month.
- The vast majority of licensed day care centers do not accept cloth diapers, and require parents and caregivers to provide a steady supply of disposable diapers.
- Most people living in poverty do not have affordable access to washing facilities. Furthermore, most coin-operated laundromats do not allow customers to wash cloth diapers for health and sanitary reasons.
- In poor and low-income families, a baby can spend a day or longer in one diaper, leading to potential health and abuse risks.
- Low-income parents cannot take advantage of free or subsidized childcare if they cannot afford to leave disposable diapers at childcare centers. If parents cannot access daycare, then they are less able to attend work or school on a consistent basis. This in turn leads to increased economic instability and a continuation of the cycle of poverty.
- Without transportation, buying diapers at an inner city convenience store rather than a large retailer can double or triple the monthly cost for diapers. Many parents are already struggling to pay for rent and food and simply cannot afford the high cost of an adequate supply of diapers for their children.