Kentucky legislature discussing bill to aid childcare programs

Republished from WEKU.

Officials say childcare providers in Kentucky could be looking at a financial crisis later this year. Legislation is working through the Kentucky General Assembly to keep this from happening.

Senate Bill 203 is a comprehensive package to promote child care throughout the state. The measure would maintain most child care subsidy programs created or expanded during the pandemic and start new funding streams for increased access.

Sarah Vanover is with Kentucky Youth Advocates. She said few people understand how childcare programs are funded.

“Childcare programs don’t get to charge rates that pay their bills. They get to charge as much as families can pay. So that means, economically they’ve always been very fragile. A successful childcare program is one that can just pay all their bills at the end of the month and not be in the negative.”

She said many centers are looking at the possibility of closure.

“Other centers just know that the families that they have can’t afford a tuition increase, they can’t keep paying their staff, and they’re thinking, “Is it worth it? Should I close?””

Vanover says many of these programs were already struggling before the pandemic. One of the biggest benefits of the sustainability payments she says was being able to increase wages for workers.

These payments have run out, and Vanover said the last bit of subsidy funding is currently scheduled to run out in September.

Hear more with Sarah Vanover on Thursday on Eastern Standard on WEKU.

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Originally published by WEKU.

Republished with permission.