Posted at 12:30 PM on July 1, 2011
by Jon Gordon
From MPR News reporter Brandt Williams:
The state government shutdown means thousands of Minnesota families will not receive child care assistance. The program helps families with children under 12 pay for child care while parents work, look for work or go to school.
Stephanie Burns of Backus said the program pays for most of the $225 per week it costs to send her two children to daycare while she goes to work.
"We'll probably have to start going to food shelves again and using the Angel Food Ministries and Ruby's Pantry is another one that we'll have to start using again because we won't be able to pay for food."
Burns said her family should be able to make it through the shutdown but she's mad that legislators and the governor couldn't reach a budget agreement.
We hear this from our MPR colleague Jeff Jones:
"When we dropped our daughter off at the daycare center today, we got an unpleasant surprise. The staff told us the center would be closed for the duration of the government shutdown. Turns out most of their income comes in via child care subsidies that the state is not paying right now. Without the subsidized families able to pay, there isn't enough income to keep the lights on for the rest of us. The staff told us they were as surprised as we were when they learned about this at 10:00 last night."
"I wonder how many other private child care centers will have to make the same decision and close their door to everyone. For my family, it means one of us will have to stay home from work until the shutdown is over to take care of our daughter. Certainly many people are much more affected than we, but I frankly didn't expect to be directly and financially touched by the shutdown so soon."