Shutdown could impact childcare in Durham

Durham County's Social Services Director says the county could be forced to suspend childcare services
October 10, 2013 8:18:31 PM PDT
The director of Durham County's Social Services met with other county leaders and shared what the community stands to lose during the federal government shutdown.

Director Michael Becketts says women, children, and the elderly will be the hardest hit.

"With the federal shutdown impacting us, the net is not able to be cast as broad and the holes in the net have gotten bigger," Becketts said.

He says working parents are losing several support systems. Work First, which helps more than 100 people is shut down, along with food and nutrition employment training services. Also at risk, is the potential of having to cut childcare subsidies.

"The most significant impact to the community, the one that causes us all to shudder is the potential of having to suspend childcare services in Durham County," Becketts said. "If parents can't get childcare subsidies what that actually means is that they won't be able to go to work and risk not being able to keep their jobs."

Mother Daeondria Judd said she works hard to give her son everything he needs, but to help her with that, she relies on the safety net that is social services.

"I'd give up the world for my son," Judd said. "I need my son to be in daycare for when I work. I don't know what I'm going to do."

Becketts plans to reach out to the Board of County Commissioners and ask for $235,000. That money would help fund services that help the blind, provide in-home care to the elderly, and prevent Meals on Wheels from having to hit the brakes. But the money will not be enough to help working parents with children.

"It would actually cost well over a million dollars to provide childcare to 2,200 children for one month," Becketts said.

Parents like Judd are left playing the waiting game to see what gives first - the funding or the shutdown.

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