Budget Shortfall for Daycare Subsidy Program - NBC Connecticut

Budget Shortfall for Daycare Subsidy Program

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    (Published Friday, Nov. 18, 2016)

    The acting commissioner for the Office of Early Childhood said they are looking at options that do not impact families already receiving benefits from the state daycare program, Care 4 Kids. 

    "Without Care 4 Kids, I won't be able to afford it," said Amanda Morriar of New Haven, who depends on Care 4 Kids for her 2-year-old daughter.

    Difficult subsidized daycare decisions could be coming before November is over.

    "That is our last option," Commissioner Linda Goodman repsonded when asked about parents getting notices that they will be cut off.

    "We’re hoping we will not have to notify parents that are currently receiving a subsidy," Goodman said. 

    The Care 4 Kids program is $5.4 million in the hole after a billion dollar budget decifict for Connecticut was revealed. 

    Goodman said the hope is to avoid impacting families already enrolled like Amanda Morriar and her two year old daughter. 

    New families were shut off from the program in August. There are more than 2,000 families currently on that waiting list.

    "We’re looking to see if there are other priority groups that we could close to new applicants that wouldn't impact people already receiving a subsidy," Goodman added.

    Goodman and Office of Policy and Management Secretary Ben Barnes testified at a deficiency hearing at the Legislative Office Building today.

    "That deficit could grow to $9.5 million dollars if no steps are taken to change that program, but we have identified a number of potential mitigations."

    Details, day care providers like Georgia Goldburn with Hope for New Haven worry about.

    “My fear is we can sustain for a few months. But I don't know how long we can sustain if 55 percent of our families are cut off," Goldburn told the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters.

    Goodman addressed the deficiency hearing and said, "The Office of Early Childhood is examining all options to balance our level of resources available for the program."

    "Taking away their access to affordable child care is an enormous kick in the chest," Barnes added.