ASHEBORO, NC — Citing overspending during the summer months, the Randolph County Department of Social Services will drastically reduce the number of children eligible for child care subsidies.
Randolph County currently subsidizes daycare for about 1500 children. That number will drop to between 500 and 600 as of December 1.
North Carolina allotted Randolph County around $4.4 million for child care at the beginning of the fiscal year, and that money must last from July through June.
The county decided to trim its waiting list to zero, giving care to everyone who qualified during the summer months when school is out and child care needs are highest.
Because of that, Randolph County was on pace to overspend its allotment, which is why it will now reduce the number of children receiving subsidies.
The final number of kids to be cut from the program has not been decided, but Richard Park, with DSS said they will choose the kids where the loss of a subsidy is deemed to have the least impact.
This means older children who attend school all day and usually have about one to three hours of child care may lose the subsidy, as opposed to younger children who do not attend school all day and so need more care.
“It’s a tough decision to make because we know the impact that it has. We know people get used to receiving those funds,” Park said.
DSS has already informed child care providers of the change, giving them a 60 day notice. Park said his department hopes the providers will begin discussing ways to pay for care without subsidies with effected parents, who will be given notice 30 days ahead of time.
“The parents are notified when they come in that this subsidy is there to assist them as long as funds are available,” Park said.