Budget cuts to a Kentucky government agency will mean less funding to help low-income families pay for child care. Citing a nearly $87 million budget shortfall, the Department of Community Based Services says it will also dramatically cut a program that pays relatives who are caring for children taken from their parents.
Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Audrey Tayse Haynes says the cuts will begin as early as April 1. According to Haynes, the Department of Community Based Services has for years dealt with decreased funding by cutting back in areas that didn’t directly affect needy families. But she says that's now impossible.
The Courier-Journal reports the budget cuts come at a time of increased need throughout the Bluegrass State, with more than 11,000 children being taken care of by relatives who receive $300 a month to help cover expenses.
Because of the cuts, the Child Care Assistance Program in Kentucky will take no new applicants until June of 2014. That program gives financial help to low-income families who can’t afford child care while parents work.
The next public forum over Kentucky’s upcoming health insurance exchange is being held Friday in Owensboro. The federal healthcare overhaul calls on each state to create its own marketplaces in which residents can compare and purchase insurance plans, or sign up for Medicaid.