Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Parents making tough decisions without funding after state expands childcare program

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BATON ROUGE - Some parents who have relied on the Louisiana Department of Education's Child Care Assistance Program tell 2 On Your Side that they are now running into trouble securing that funding.

Several of them say they have had to make tough decisions for their family which include choosing between childcare and work.

A mother of three who reached out to Brittany Weiss says she's considering withdrawing from school because of what's happened to her. She had to pull her children out of daycare after her funding ran out.

"I feel stagnant. I feel stuck," said the mother, who did not want to be identified.

Two of her children go to daycare, which is expensive. It costs about $1,400 a month to send them both. In the past, she relied on the state's CCAP funding, but after reapplying in June, she ran into some delays.

She sent in her paperwork and waited the required 60-90 days while communicating with a supervisor through email. This past weekend, she received a denial letter.

"Every time you call, you're on hold for 45 minutes," she said. "Sometimes, you're not able to get through. Sometimes, they're not accepting calls due to volume."

The state says in February, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved an increase in payment rates and extended eligibility to serve more families. Since that expansion, participation in CCAP has grown to serve an average increase of an additional 3,000 children.

At the current pace, the number of eligible families anticipated to apply could exceed the amount of funds available. There's a waitlist so that eligible families can access a spot as soon as funding is available.

The state says it has reached out to some of the concerned parents who contacted 2 On Your Side.


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