Photo by Johnny Jackson
CARSON CITY, Nev. – The demand for the State’s Child Care and Development Program, administered by the Division of Welfare and Supportive Services, has outpaced legislatively-approved funding levels, requiring additional changes to program administration and eligibility.
“We continue to make every effort to serve as many families as possible during this difficult economic period for child care subsidies but the demand has outpaced our state and federal funding levels,” said Division Administrator Diane Comeaux. “Last July we made limited reductions to eligibility hoping to avoid these deeper cuts but unfortunately we did not realize the anticipated savings. To ensure we are doing all we can, we are implementing several new strategies to help Nevada families.”
The Child Care and Development Program has established a waitlist for the approximately 220 Nevada families who will not see their child care subsidy renewed when their current 6-month certification period
ends. Additionally, new applicant families with income at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty level ($2421 gross monthly income for a family of four) will also be placed on the waitlist.
In addition to creating the waitlist, the Division has reduced funding for administrative costs related to the Child Care Resource and Referral activities by 20 percent, Head Start programs and after school programs by 10 percent, and has increased the number of cases each eligibility worker is expected to process. The Division
hopes to reduce spending by several million dollars over the next six months and looks forward to restoring the subsidy for those on a waiting list as funding becomes available from the cost-saving measures. The Division also plans to reallocate certain funds, pending approval from the Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee.
Care coordinators and paying agents have been notified of the additional measures implemented to bring the level of child care assistance in line with the available funding.
“This is difficult news by any measure,” Division Administrator Diane Comeaux added. “But we want to assure the Nevada families affected by these reductions that we will continue to do all we can to assist
families and children.”