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Daycare Providers Say State Is Pulling Funding

CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois’ budget crisis is hitting day care centers, potentially leaving parents in a lurch.

Several day care centers contacted CBS 2 saying the state cut their funding.

Reporter Marissa Bailey spoke with a day care owner and some worried parents.

Illinois is out of money to pay day care providers who receive state funds. That means providers who rely solely on those funds could close their doors.

It’s quiet time at Stair Step Villa Child Care, but director Regina Meus is loud about a single issue: State government says it isn’t paying this month.

She got a letter from the Illinois Human Services Department stating there is no money to pay for subsidized clients.

There are 16 kids at the daycare, and all of them are subsidized, including Tiffany Booker’s son, Evan.

Booker says more than half of her paycheck would go to pay for daycare if she doesn’t have a subsidy from the government. The state funds have helped her stay afloat each month.

“I would pretty much have to work check by check to pay for childcare,” she says.

Brandi Wheeler is out of a job and says the funding gives her time to look full-time for new work.

“It’s not that we want to live off Department of Human Services,” she says. “A lot of us are trying to go to school to pursue our careers. It’s hard.”

Meus says state funding cuts will only lead to one ending for her center.

“Staff will lose their jobs. We will close,” she says.

Calls to the state were not returned. The Illinois government fiscal year ends June 30, and many other daycare providers will lose at least three months’ worth of payments.

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