Local Childcare providers may have to shut their doors due to a state funding issuePosted: Updated:
Early childhood education and development plays a big role in state issues but when it comes to funding it there is a problem and it is causing many childcare facilities to shut their doors.
Benton county receives more government subsidies even though Franklin county has more subsidized children.
Representative Shirley hankins says that Washington needs to be known as a very aggressive education state and the way to do that is pay for it.
The childcare in Franklin County is being compromised by DSHS due to a subsidy disparity. The operating cost of childcare is the same in both Benton and Franklin Counties but Franklin County is not being reimbursed the same amount by the state.
Representative Larry haler says it's a very critical issue and when they did the budget he was told we wouldn't have this problem and now we've got it.
One facility in Kennewick has already felt the repercussions and are having to shut their doors and other programs fear the same, not just for their businesses but for the children.
Ginger Still, Kids World Director says she is emotionally invested in providing child care for children and the thought of a childcare center closing down and those 55 children and all of those parents trying to scramble for yet another place to go is not acceptable.
According to early learning professionals 50% of kids entering kindergarten are not prepared and it stems back to not having the proper funding to operate and staff the childcare programs.
So the hope is to have equal funding in both counties so that providers can give the care and education the children deserve.
Haler says the primary funding mandate in the state before any other is funding education.
Early childhood professionals are hoping that after the next legislative session they will have equal funding, but Haler couldn't make any promises.