6,200 Wake children on waiting list for daycare assistance

Posted February 3, 2012

— For parents of young children, paying for day care can be like paying a second mortgage. Placing an infant in a five-star center in Wake County costs an average of $1,173 per month, according to Wake County Human Services.

The county has a program that helps low-income, working parents pay for day care, but state budget cuts are putting a strain on that help.

The program pays families an average of $555 a month for day care assistance. The amount depends on the age of the child and the star rating of the facility. Parents can choose any licensed day care that agrees to receive subsidized children. Search for regulated child care facilities in North Carolina.

The state created the five-star rated license system to help parents identify quality childcare. One star means that a day care meets North Carolina's minimum standards. Two to five stars means it has met higher standards.

More than 5,000 Wake County children get their day care subsidized through the program. With a $4.2-million budget cut, the county’s human services department can't take on any new families in need.

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More than 6,200 children are on the waiting list, which “continues to grow,” and there is no guarantee they will get any day care assistance, according to Gloria Cook, a child care subsidy program manager with Wake County Human Services.

“It just depends on when funding would become available,” Cook said.

The county also had to reduce its level of service and no longer pays day care registration fees or for transportation, she said.

Cheryl Riley’s 4-year-old son Gabe is one of the 5,000 children who use the program. She sends him to a four-star center, with Wake County paying part of the cost.

“If I had to pay regularly, it would cost way too much, like $800 to $900 (a month),” Riley said. “I wouldn’t be able to work if I didn’t have it, or at least not as much. I’d be limited in what I can provide for Gabe.”

Budget cuts put child care out of reach for some Budget cuts put child care out of reach for some

WRAL News reached out to Republican state lawmakers about the budget cuts. Sen. Richard Stevens, R-Wake, says the state was facing a $3-billion deficit, so cuts were made to almost all programs.

Sen. Neal Hunt, R-Wake, says he and other lawmakers did all they could “to minimize the impact on services that help at-risk families and some of our most vulnerable citizens, including making programs more efficient."


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  • simplemind2 Feb 3, 2012

    February 3, 2012 5:15 p.m.

    I’m not a conservative either. But I totally agree with what you said.

  • Mark Hayes Feb 3, 2012

    Getting older has one comfort and that is that I can enjoy the entitlements that I provided for myself and family,be critical of those that never put in the work and will end up with no more than they have today and will face the outcome of every administration that hopefully will start cutting back on those that are never going to contribute,I feel no sympathy for those people and will vote for any politician that promises to bring a halt to the existance of all these welfare and social programs recipients that are robbing the working citizans of this country,the handout will come to an end someday as those providing the funds for them grow tired of all the freeloaders and their families,a new wave of politicians that have struggled will not be so generous with our money when this old guard is gone.

  • gopack10 Feb 3, 2012

    I AGREE...before I scrolled down to the comments I was thinking if you cannot afford them then you do not need to have them. Glad to see others thinking the same thing. That sounds cruel but it is true. My husband and I work hard everyday to pay for our home, cars and daycare I would never expect the government or anyone else to pay for that. We chose to have the kids, they are our responsibility. Would love to have a third child but we realize that would put us in a difficult position right now so it is not an option.

  • peppercorns Feb 3, 2012

    if you can't afford to educate and feed them...stop having them. This is ridiculous. Why does my tax payer money have to continually be used to take care of someone else's kids???

  • Nancy Feb 3, 2012

    Is this the More At Four $ we're talking about? Or whatever name they may have changed it to?

  • storchheim Feb 3, 2012

    I should more correctly have said "a boy whose family was on welfare", since that was the point I was trying to make. I apologize to all for any offense I caused.

  • vraptor Feb 3, 2012

    more socialism... so how do they determine who is qualified? FRL?

  • storchheim Feb 3, 2012

    cantstanya, that should indeed be fun to watch. Because Hispanics don't have slavery-guilt to exploit. I can't wait to see what happens when the attempt is made, though.

  • Mark Hayes Feb 3, 2012

    Poppa's got to have a new dew rag and momma needs those nails to curl down and all painted up,how in the world do you exspect them to have money for day care,come on give them a break it's friday night and time to hit dem streets.

  • storchheim Feb 3, 2012

    gillespie, HowManyOUnces is part of the solution, not part of the problem. Why the rage directed at her? Oh, that's right, she saved money. Must be one of those evil rich who stole from your type.

    When you snarl about talking ish, do you mean like telling someone to come at you because you're loaded (which I believe you are, actually)?