Financial help for childcare services during furloughs and layoffs

By: Melissa Tune Email
By: Melissa Tune Email

News 12 at 11 o'clock, August 5, 2009

AUGUSTA,Ga. --- Money is tight and many people have cut back on a lot - but there are some services you can't do without -- like daycare.
With all the furloughs and budget cutbacks - parents and teachers both lose" a chunk of pay" - but still have responsibilities. There are some day-cares that will work with parents.

Money is tight and many people have cut back on a lot - but there are some services you can't do without -- like daycare. With all the furloughs and budget cutbacks - parents and teachers both lose" a chunk of pay" - but still have responsibilities. There are some day-cares that will work with parents.

Domenica Morton works out at the North Augusta YMCA. She's able to take her son Kyle along because of the childcare facilities. She is fortunate because while she can pay, she says she knows many other people who can't.

"You hear the same story over and over," says Morton. "Finances are bad."

Morton is thankful she hasn't been furloughed unlike some of her family and friends.

"Thank God I haven't been or had to be in that situation but I've seen other parents in that situation and it's embarrassing," adds Morton.

Morton explains that it's embarrassing for some parents because while furloughs may save school districts money they cost families in the long run. Columbia County schools will save about 1.5 million dollars and Richmond County Schools will save 2 million dollars. It is a saving for the schools but it is money that will cost employees in unpaid days.
"We have had several that have lost jobs but they're still in school so they still need childcare services,"says Debbie Bower, District Vice President of Child Services.

Debbie Bower is in charge of Child Care Services with the Family Y in the CSRA. She says there's aid money set aside for members experiencing financial hardships.

"Families that are being furloughed, meaning days where they're losing income, we work with them,"says Bowers. "When we look at scholarship applications we look at those that are in school, we look at those that are working, they have to work a 25 hour or more week or they have to be in school 25 hours a week to qualify for our scholarships.

Last year the Family Y provided 785,000 dollars in scholarships in the form of memberships, senior services, and other programs. This year there may be even more.

News 12 talked to other day-cares in the area including churches, commerical childcare providers and one private childcare facility. In most cases they'll work with parents experiencing problems. There's also childcare help available through the United Way, Social Services or other organizations. In Georgia there's a hot-line launched by the Georgia Department of Early Care and learning to help find resources.


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