Illinois daycare assistance funding up in the air; workers, parents in jeopardy

Illinois daycare assistance funding up in the air; workers, parents in jeopardy

Illinois daycare assistance funding up in the air; workers, parents in jeopardy

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on January 23, 2013 at 5:44 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 24 at 3:13 AM

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – Daycare centers across the Metro East are in jeopardy as while their state funding is up in the air.

The funding, provided through the Child Care Assistance Program – known as “chassy”- is in danger of running out as the state attempts to cut its spending.

If the funds run out before the beginning of the next fiscal year in July, daycare workers will face layoffs.

“If we lose chassy help we start losing children, I have to start laying off staff.,” said Linda Doss, manager of River’s Edge Childcare. “We have to cut our programs down. It’s not good for any of us involved.”

A cut in daycare staff would have a ripple effect that could also jeopardize the employment of parents who use daycare.

About half the families who send their kids to River’s Edge Childcare Center in Granite City receive state aid because they can’t afford daycare on their low income.

If the money that helps them runs out, they’ll have no choice but to quit their jobs.

“It would be very hard to go to work if I had to worry about where I was going to take him to daycare,” said parent Tanya Soto. “Because my parents work, so it’s hard to find even a family member to keep him.”

Illinois state officials say $25 million to fund the daycare assistance program through the end of June.

The program faced a similar crisis in 2012, however legislators eventually found the money needed in another part of the budget.

Legislators say they could move money for programs that don’t need the money to the programs in need of more money.

One member of the legislator suggested holding paychecks for general assembly until the budget problems are solved.

 

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