Decatur – State Representative Bill Mitchell, (R) Forsyth, is calling for an audit of the Child Care Assistance Program used to pay daycare providers who care for children of low income parents.Mitchell will also offer a legislative package to reform the program.
The program fell victim to budgeting gimmicks when the legislature put together the state budget last May.The program ran out of money in January because it was under funded by about $300 million.Daycare providers like Kids-N-Fitness have not been paid since December.
“We need that money.It does cost to care for children,” Kids-N-Fitness Director Amy Steck told WAND News Capitol reporter Doug Wolfe.“I have to pay my employees.And I have to rely on the money from the state in order to make that happen.”
Representative Mitchell points to possible abuses in the program.
“This program was not meant in my opinion to be a way of life.It was meant to help people in need for a short period of time,” Mitchell stated while touring the Kids-N-Fitness facility on South Side Drive in Decatur.
Governor Bruce Rauner is expected to request an emergency appropriation from the legislature on Wednesday to keep the child care assistance program running through the end of the fiscal year.
(Pictured: Rep. Bill Mitchell at a Decatur daycare facility on February 17, 2015)