Raising children is hard enough just worrying about their safety and education. But some Arkansas families are worrying about needs as basic as food and shelter. A recent report from Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families says the federal poverty wage level is only half of what Arkansas families need to meet basic needs without government assistance. "I try to pull away from the government. I wasnt on welfare, but I was on housing, and I try to be self-sufficient," says Cassandra Harris, a working parent. For example, Harris is married with two children. She says she and her husband are both working and bringing home about $30,000 a year. But the report from AR Advocates says a family that size with two working parents needs just over $35,000 for basic needs. The Federal Poverty Level for a family that size is just over $18,000 a year. "I hadnt even included entertainment, taking the kids out, going to the movies, or out to eat," Harris said. "If youre down at a low-income group, you have to make big decisions, ‘Well, do I need to put off the credit card payment this month to put food on the table," said Rich Huddleston, AR Advocates for Children and Families. Huddleston says state and federal taxes make up 6-11% of the family income. The report suggests a more progressive state tax system to help relieve those families. It also recommends the government better subsidize early childhood education, like preschool, up to 200% of the Federal Poverty level.