At the State Capitol Wednesday, some childcare providers are fighting to reclaim some of the business they lost when stimulus funds ran out in May.
Children learn and have fun at The Prep Company Tutorial School, a childcare center in Jackson. But fewer parents are coming in with subsidized childcare certificates, and Director Deloris Suel says it's hurting the children more than anyone.
"They are babysitting," she says of some children she used to watch at her centers. "I see them with their little sister, brother, they're out playing. Sometimes you look, they're 9 years old, the youngest child may be 3 or 4."
Thousands of other childcare facilities statewide, licensed and unlicensed, accept vouchers from the Mississippi Childcare Certificate Program. Only low-income, working families are eligible. "If the parent earns more money, they have to pay more, the program pays less," says Carol Burnett, Director of The Mississippi Low-Income Childcare Initiative. "It helps parents go to work, it's a work support."
$31 million dollars in stimulus funds ran out last September. As we learned in a meeting at the state Capitol Wednesday, the Department of Human Services pulled strings for eight months to keep children on board. But in May, 3,900 children were cut from the program.
Some believe the problem goes beyond the loss in stimulus funds. State Senator David Jordan, who called the hearing, says the Planning and Development Districts around the state, which administer the funds for DHS, are causing concern.
"Most of the problems that have been brought to me have been from that particular level," Jordan says. "The cog of the wheel may be at the PDD level. A lot of politics goes on at that level, that in turn hampers the whole program.".
DHS is aware of that issue. "We're always doing an evaluation of the program," says Rickey Berry, Deputy Director of Administrative Programs.
DHS has been asked to consider using more TANF, or welfare, dollars for the certificate program. "We've really not received a budget this year, we're just operating on a series of continuing resolutions," he says. "We really won't know until October 1 what the funding level will be for next year."
While you were sleeping, the Internet never stopped… Here's what's trending today. Mobile user? Click here: Wasp nest built on window What would you do if you saw this on your window? It's like somethingMore >>
While you were sleeping, the Internet never stopped. Here's what's trending today.More >>
Monday, September 15 2014 10:55 PM EDT2014-09-16 02:55:55 GMT
Boone Police Officers received a call about the discovery of a dead body around 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning. The body was found in a wooded area adjacent to Poplar Grove Road near Appalachian State University. PoliceMore >>
The body was found in a wooded area adjacent to Poplar Grove Road near Appalachian State University.More >>
Tuesday, September 16 2014 7:31 AM EDT2014-09-16 11:31:48 GMT
(WMC) - A teen who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the shooting death of this 10-year-old sister will serve several years in a Tennessee Department of Corrections Youth Facility. The teen, whoMore >>
A teen who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the shooting death of his 10-year-old sister will serve several years in a Tennessee Department of Corrections Youth Facility.More >>
Monday, September 15 2014 5:39 PM EDT2014-09-15 21:39:25 GMT
Horrific details of a southern Indiana homicide were released Monday, including allegations that Joseph Oberhansley ate portions of Tammy Jo Blanton's brain, heart and lungs after stabbing her to death.More >>
Horrific details of a southern Indiana homicide were released Monday, including allegations that Joseph Oberhansley ate portions of Tammy Jo Blanton's brain, heart and lungs after stabbing her to death. More >>
Tuesday, September 16 2014 8:30 PM EDT2014-09-17 00:30:17 GMT
Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Rushing says his office is working a death pending case, involving two bodies found Monday afternoon.Family members went by to check on a mother and son and found both of themMore >>
The cause of death for the Lincoln Co. mother and son is still unknown. An update is provided.
Tuesday, September 16 2014 3:37 PM EDT2014-09-16 19:37:13 GMT
We're trying to get more information now on a body found in Jackson this morning. We have few details available, but JPD confirms a man was found dead around 5 am at I-55 North, near Beasley Road andMore >>
We have few details available, but JPD confirms a man was found dead around 5 am at I-55 North and Beasley Road.
Tuesday, September 16 2014 5:41 PM EDT2014-09-16 21:41:22 GMT
MPD: Woman wearing bra and panties, carrying bat caught trespassing at elementary school A woman wearing her bra and panties is accused of running into the cafeteria at Westside elementary school andMore >>
A woman wearing her bra and panties is accused of running into the cafeteria at Westside elementary school and causing a bizarre disturbance just before more than a hundred children were due to come in for lunch. More >>
Tuesday, September 16 2014 10:11 AM EDT2014-09-16 14:11:21 GMT
An 18-year-old University of Virginia student has been missing since Saturday and police are concerned about her safety. Hannah Elizabeth Graham sent her friends a text message around 1:20 a.m. on Saturday,More >>
An 18-year-old University of Virginia student has been missing since Saturday and police are concerned about her safety.More >>
WLBT 3 - Fox 40
715 South Jefferson Street
Jackson, Mississippi 39201