LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) -The CARES Act, passed by Congress in March, gave $50 million to the state of Oklahoma for child care.
However, where that money is going, is a hot topic in the child care industry.
We spoke with several daycare directors who say they’re not seeing any of it--in fact, they’re taking a hit.
“Essentially they allowed any parent with a copay to receive a zero copay for the month of April and May, which means their tuition would be 100 percent covered.” said Amy Lafleur, Director at Children of Joy Learning Academy.
Good for parents, but bad for childcare facilities because they’re paid based on attendance.
“Parents are not coming. Parents are staying home,” said Michael Hicks, Owner of Rising Stars Childcare. “Parents are staying home doing what they do best which is take care of themselves and take care of the households. If you have a reason to stay home, why would you leave.”
And while the directors say they were honored to be deemed essential, they weren’t given any supplies or resources to comply with DHS’ order
“Supplies are scarce,” said Hicks. “I read an article today that 850 centers are closed in the state of Oklahoma. I would hate to be 851 because of lack of resources.”
Or lack of staff as all the directors say they have employees who are concerned for their own safety.
“You have frontline workers and essential personnel, we’re in contact with their children,” said Jermaine Graham, Director at Children of Joy Learning Academy. “We were just a little uncomfortable with the set level of exposure each and every day.”
“We also have some staff members with immunocompromised children of their own,” said Lafleur. “So they felt like they were putting their families at risk.”
Overall, Hicks says he doesn’t think the CARES Act has had an impact in childcare.
“I’m not seeing a large volume of people rushing back into childcare because of the CARES Act,” said Hicks. “To be honest, I’m under the impression that a lot of parents are not even aware of the CARES Act and what it does imply.”
For more information on the CARES Act and the 60-days of subsidized child care, you can visit OKDHSLive.org.