Friday, October 24, 2014

Elkhart County daycare centers worry about impact of lingering shutdown

Operators of two non-profit Elkhart County daycare centers are jittery over possible shutdown repercussions.
Posted on Oct. 12, 2013 at 1:00 a.m.

ELKHART — The ongoing government shutdown has operators of two non-profit daycare centers in Elkhart County worried about future funding from the feds.

For now, officials indicate that federal funds earmarked to help daycare centers cover food and tuition costs for children from low-income families aren’t in jeopardy. Still, if the shutdown, which went in effect on Oct. 1, lingers into November, Paula Mumaw, director of the Elkhart Child Development Center in Elkhart, has her doubts.

“What are we going to do if that’s not here?” Mumaw said, alluding to Child and Adult Care Food Program and Child Care Development Fund money the daycare center receives.

Carol McCrory, executive director of Goshen’s Walnut Hill Early Childhood Center, echoed that. “If the government stays closed, the money won’t continue,” she said.

Both daycare centers cater mainly to low-income families, and federal funding from the Child and Adult Care Food Program, or CACFP, and the Child Care Development Fund, or CCDF, help the facilities cover their costs. CACFP money helps with the cost of feeding eligible children while CCDF money helps cover the daycare fees of kids from low-income families.

“There are many parts involved, but (CCDF) is probably one of the bigger ones,” said Mumaw, referring to the Elkhart daycare center’s funding sources.

Other daycare centers may also get CACFP and CCDF funds, according to Mumaw. But the Elkhart Child Development Center and Walnut Hill Early Childhood Center are particularly reliant on the sources because client families, from the lower economic spectrum, typically pay on a sliding scale, based on ability. The Goshen operation currently cares for around 80 children and the Elkhart center cares for about 75.


Marni Lemons, spokeswoman for the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, said agency officials think CCDF funding, funneled from the feds through the agency, is OK for October. “If the federal government shutdown continues, however, we will need to reassess,” she wrote in an email.

Likewise, Indiana Department of Education spokesman Daniel Altman said state officials have received no indication that CACFP money, funneled from the feds through the department, is in jeopardy. McCrory said a consultant told her that CACFP payments for October will be made, but that it’s not clear what happens after that.

“Once November comes around, the state people can’t tell us because they don’t know either,” said McCrory.

Recommended for You

 FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2012, file photo, women walk by a statue of Joseph and Emma Smith outside the church office building during the 182nd Semiannual General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City. Mormon church founder Joseph Smith had an underage bride and was married to other men’s wives during the early days of the faith when polygamy was practiced, a new church essay reveals. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says most of Smith’s wives were between 20 and 40 years old but that one was just 14. While part of the church's early days, polygamy has been banned in the faith since 1890.  (AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Scott Sommerdorf, File)

Posted 57 minutes ago
 In this Oct. 22, 2014 photo Roman numerals mark a timber from the 54-foot oak French frigate La Belle at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas. Archaeologists are beginning to reassemble the remains of the ship recovered more than 300 years after the vessel was lost in a storm off the coast of Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Posted 58 minutes ago
Back to top ^