Federal funding set to expire for child care centers across the nation

Published: Sep. 27, 2023 at 8:27 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Saturday, Sep. 30, childcare centers nationwide are set to lose federal funding. Without that money, some childcare centers said they could be forced to close their doors, and working parents that rely on childcare services may have to look for other options.

Shaneika Walker is a working mom who said that childcare is a lifeline for her family. She has two children—a 10-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter.

“I absolutely depend on daycare Monday through Friday,” said Walker.

Some centers may be forced to close if they lose federal funding that was given during the pandemic to help them stay afloat.

“It’s about being smart about where we’re spending our dollars, so we can keep our childcare affordable for our families while also paying our staff what they’re worth,” said Jacqueline Taylor, owner of Little Dreamers Daycare Center in Lansing.

Taylor has been working with local lawmakers and the Chamber of Commerce to address the issue.

She said, “We want to care for your children, we want to provide the service and we want to be a part of the solution.”

Lisa Brewer-Walraven with the Michigan Department of Education said some funds will still be available for families under the poverty threshold.

“Providers will still be able to charge tuition to families who are not eligible for the child care subsidy, so there are still opportunities for providers to collect funds to support their operations,” said Brewer-Walraven.

Walker said if her daycare center closed, it would put her in a bind. She’s just hoping it doesn’t get to the point where she has to choose between going to work and caring for her children.

The Michigan Department of Education said it doesn’t have concrete numbers of how many childcare centers could close as a result of the loss of federal funds. State leaders suggest families communicate with their providers, ensuring there aren’t any changes in cost.

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