Voucher Cutback Forces Working Mothers To Choose

Federal Government Cuts Child-Care Funding

A cutback in child care vouchers is forcing many working mothers to choose between quitting their jobs or going on welfare.

But despite the federal cutbacks, the state may have come up with the funds to help replenish the program, Call 6's Rafael Sanchez reported.

State officials said $7.3 million will go to help families on a waiting list for daycare, but the money will not help hundreds of children who were previously in the program, Sanchez reported.

Kathy Elcock, director of the Learning Universe, said her day-care center lost 36 children who up until Sunday were receiving federally funded vouchers.

"The parents are distraught. They don't know what to do," Elcock said.

Mothers like Nikisha Wade said the vouchers made child care affordable and allowed parents to have a job.

Wade, who has a son at Learning Universe, and also works there, will lose her job because of the cutbacks, Sanchez reported. Three other employees have already been laid off.

"Basically, I was trying to work so I wouldn't have to stay at home and collect welfare," Wade said. "I am going to have to go back to choose that welfare as an option. I don't want to do that."

Around $9 million in funding was lost in Indiana, affecting 6,713 children, Sanchez reported.

State officials said the bonus money will help around 1,900 children on the waiting list.

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