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Open Forum: Shutdown will be devastating

The governmental shutdown will be devastating to child care providers and families whose child care is funded through CCAP; Child Care Assistance Program. The parents are eligible and approved to receive assistance but child care providers will not receive reimbursement for care provided during the shut down. Some of the care has been provided before the shutdown but as a result of the billing procedure claims cannot be filed until later in the month resulting in non-payment. Providers and parents received a letter for DHS; Department of Human Services, stating they didn’t know if payment would be issued retroactively after the shutdown or not. So the options are to close our doors, care for the children without pay, hope the Legislature includes retro payments in the budget, (if the budget is ever settled) or terminate the families that can’t pay. None of the above options pay the mortgage, light bill or insurance. State and other employees that are laid off are eligible for unemployment benefits; providers have no supports whatsoever. How is it that college education is deemed essential or critical, the animals at the zoo will be fed but the care and education of our youngest citizens is so unimportant they are deemed non-essential or not critical?  

Kathy Stevens

Crow Wing County Licensed Family Child Care Provider