Budget impasse affects day care

August 13, 2009 3:32:16 PM PDT
There is no reported progress towards a resolution of the budget impasse in Harrisburg and that means more days of wait for hundreds of different agencies in Pennsylvania.Day children took to the streets decrying the fallout of the state's budget stalemate.

The flow of the funding is blocked with subsidies of 50% to 95% not coming in, jeopardizing a program that benefits thousands of kids here in Philadelphia and across the commonwealth.

"If we don't get our money which is for the subsidy kids that we care for, we can't operate," Jayne Lampugnani of the Small World Discover Center said.

"Some schools have closed. We're cutting back, but we're preparing for layoffs and we're preparing for the possibility of closing schools," Lynn Biddle of Step Ahead said.

At the Beautiful Beginnings childcare center, last month's $12,000 invoice was not filled. Staff work hours have been cut back with parents forced to pull their children out of the program.

"The parents are working parents and without this subsidized care the parents can't afford to put their child in quality care, they will need to pull their children out, without that we'll need to close our doors," Melissa Blatz of Beautiful Beginnings said.

Working parents like Nurse Christina Johnson, who gets a 50% subsidy to send her children to Beautiful Beginnings, sees enormous trouble on the horizon if the budget standoff does not end soon.

"The impact is going to be a lot of these kids are going to be restricted to just being watched by neighbors, family, and friends which they're not going to get the full education that they get here," Johnson said.

With this fear, anxiety, and inconvenience growing by the day, there are still no signs whatsoever that the powers that be in Harrisburg are any closer to a budget deal.