NC Reducing Child Care Subsidies
Hundreds of low-income families in the Triad will soon have to pay more for childcare.
North Carolina's new state budget reduces the amount of money it will give to help some families pay for child care. The new rules begin October 1. The amount given will vary based on the family's income and the number of children. Also, the more children in a family, the less money the state will give per child. Forsyth County’s Smart Start is the state’s public-private initiative that provides funding for child care.
Executive Director Jackie Lofton says in the county, more than 2,200 children will be affected. Another change is that the subsidies will only apply to children who are 5 years old and younger. It's a change that concerns Lofton because many families will not be able to afford afterschool daycare.
"The biggest risk is that children will get off buses going into homes and becoming latchkey kids," says Lofton. "Or these children will go into unlicensed facilities.” Unlicensed child care facilities are not regulated nor monitored by the state. Other changes include all families will pay a 10 percent co-pay and families using child care before and/or afterschool will pay the same amount as families using the service all day.
Currently, Lofton says her agency is talking with their counterparts at Forsyth County Department of Social Service to figure out how together they can help these families adjust to the new rules. Meanwhile, according to the Greensboro News and Record, nearly 1,300 children in Guilford County will lose child care subsidies.**
CORRECTION: The Greensboro News and Record reported revised figures Thursday, September 11, 2014. The new figure shows that 550-800 children in Guilford County will be impacted by the changes.