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Hundreds Lose Daycare Subsidies
245 Chemung County Children Will No Longer Receive Daycare Discounts
May 22, 2012
ELMIRA (WENY) -- Nearly 250 Chemung County kids are no longer eligible for daycare subsidies, and now their parents are left scrambling to find hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.
Parents were notified last Wednesday about the cuts, and only have until Friday, May 25 before their subsidies run out. The county receives a childcare block grant from the state and federal government, and contributes local money to help bring daycare costs down for low income families.
But now there are more subsidies than available money. So the highest earning families on the low-income scale are being kicked off.
"I feel like I'm being punished just for trying," says Amber Kelly, who has two kids of daycare. Her costs are going up from $40 a month, to $1,000 a month. "If I was on public assistance then I would be able to keep my childcare. And that just doesn't make any sense to me."
Daycare providers aren't happy either because they'll be losing kids. Joy Overacker says she's losing 20 percent of her enrollees, and even some of her staff members are being affected by the cuts.
"It's not a situation where that family can say we just won't go out to dinner once a week or we'll cut back on something, they literally can't afford care anymore..as of Friday," says Overacker.
Human services workers say the best thing parents can do to get the money restored is to contact their local lawmaker.
Sen. Tom O'Mara:
P.O. Box 441
Big Flats, NY 14814