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."
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:31 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:31:22 GMT
The pastor and members of a Jefferson county church make the gruesome discovery of a body on the way to Bible study Wednesday evening. Sheriff Peter Walker said a woman's body was found just before 6:30More >>
Jefferson County Sheriff Peter Walker has identified the woman found dead in the cemetery of East Mount Olive Baptist Church Wednesday night.
Thursday, May 23 2013 9:13 PM EDT2013-05-24 01:13:14 GMT
Two elementary school girls were allegedly sexually assaulted by another female student. One incident happening while the two girls were at school. Two mothers are now speaking out about their daughters.More >>
Two Jackson mothers are speaking out after they say their daughters were sexually assaulted by another female student. One of the incidents allegedly happened at school.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:05 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:05:30 GMT
A Jackson Public School district principal has had her license suspended for one year. Dr. Lisa Andrus-Johnson is the principal at Watkins Elementary school.A spokesperson for the Mississippi DepartmentMore >>
A Jackson Public School district principal has had her license suspended for one year. Dr. Lisa Andrus-Johnson is the principal at Watkins Elementary school.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 2:07 PM EDT2013-05-23 18:07:42 GMT
Joseph Patrick Coates has pled guilty to three counts of sale of a controlled substance and was sentenced to 52 years in prison. The last eight years of the sentenced were suspended and he'll be placedMore >>
Joseph Patrick Coates has pleaded guilty to three counts of sale of a controlled substance and was sentenced to 52 years in prison. The last eight years of the sentence were suspended and he'll be placed on supervised probation following his release.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 5:38 PM EDT2013-05-23 21:38:18 GMT
The picture of a George County dog set on fire is disturbing. Authorities say the circumstances surrounding how fire consumed the dog are shocking. According to George County Sheriff Dean Howell, 20-year-oldMore >>
Socks, the dog reportedly burned this week by his owner, has died. That word comes from a George County Sheriff's deputy. Socks succumbed to injuries suffered after 20-year-old Brandon Pierce allegedly set his dog on fire Tuesday night. The suspect told deputies he torched the dog because he "wanted to help the dog go to heaven."More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 9:28 AM EDT2013-05-23 13:28:21 GMT
Three on Your Side receives a complaint of tainted gas in Clinton Wednesday. Toby Latham said water in gasoline from Kangaroo Express on Springridge Road damaged his vehicle. According to the Byram motorist,More >>
One customer at a gas station in Clinton claims water in the fuel damaged his vehicle.
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:17 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:17:05 GMT
James Hutto interrupted his own capital murder trial Tuesday morning, angry that judge Bill Gowan decided against the admissibility of certain evidence. "None of that matters? F***. I don't give a f***More >>
Eighty-one year old Ethel Winstead Simpson was killed between 11:30 p.m. on September 13 and 1:15 a.m. on September 14, 2010. Prosecutors narrowed down the time frame Wednesday in the Capital Murder trial of James Hutto.More >>
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