Hundreds without pay & families scrambling for children’s care!

For Immediate Release
January 12, 2012

Terry Carter 213-700-5617

Under scrutiny, mismanaged child care agency leaves hundreds without pay & families scrambling for children’s care!

Parents and child care providers left in the dark about alternatives, further illustrating the state’s broken child care system.

Today, more than 50 local child care providers and the parents and children they serve lined the sidewalks and chanted with picket signs to protest the Center for Community and Family Services (CCFS), which has not paid providers in December and is expected to miss January’s pay date as well. This leaves area families at risk of losing their children’s quality child care.

CCFS is responsible for administering payments to independent child care providers who help low-income families to afford high-quality child care as they return to the workforce. According providers, CCFS continued an egregious practice of not paying providers for services already provided to the community. Last summer, providers held a similar action after some had not been paid for three months; several were missing payments that were five months overdue.

This is just the latest example of how problem-plagued California’s child care system is. For too long, many agencies responsible for managing family child care have been getting away with delayed payments, payments that fall thousands of dollars short, and failure to communicate program changes.

“I finally was successful in getting a mortgage modification that will help me keep my doors open,” explained Los Angeles provider LaShaun Merriman. “That is until I missed my most recent mortgage payment when my automatic deposit from CCFS didn’t hit my bank. Now I’m afraid. Not just of losing my home, but of losing my business. Even if I can find someone kind enough to let me sleep on the couch for a while, no one is going to let me run my business out of their home. I’ll be homeless and out of the job I love and the job I’m great at.”

Last year, California child care providers submitted a bill that would have given them a voice in their industry and allowed them to begin fixing this broken system. The bill passed in the legislature but Gov. Brown vetoed it. Providers are still exploring ways stabilize child care for the families they serve and to strengthen their profession.

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