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Kentucky Child Care Subsidy Boost Put on Hold

Kentucky’s Health and Family Services Cabinet is reviewing whether a reimbursement rate increase can move forward for child care centers that are part of the state’s subsidy program for low-income families.

Earlier this month, then-Gov. Steve Beshear announced he would dedicate a federal fund surplusof $15 million to the Child Care Assistance Program, which offers subsidies for low-income parents who work. The change was supposed to take effect Jan. 1.

But Beshear’s administration made a mistake and did not enact the measure in time, which puts everything on hold, The Courier-Journal reports.

“I’m disappointed,” said Mike Hammons, director of advocacy at Child Inc., a Louisville non-profit early education center.  “We are all disappointed that this didn’t get done.”

The increase would have added $1 per CCAP-participating child per day to child care centers.

Hammons said that slight increase was desperately needed. He said centers haven’t had a rate increase in the past 10 years.

Now, Hammons said, advocates have to convince Gov. Matt Bevin and his administration to make this happen.

“We made the case to the previous administration and thought they were going to increase it. I guess with this hitch it didn’t get done,” he said. “I hope that they will see the importance of this and the urgency.”

Hammons said he’s confident advocates can make a good pitch to Bevin.

Bevin spokeswoman Jessica Ditto said the governor's office is waiting for the health cabinet to review the merits of the increase before announcing whether it will move forward with the rate increase.